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Outlook: December warmer, drier than normal

Posted December 5, 2010, 6:36 PM.

The latest outlook from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecasts that December will be warmer and drier than normal through December.

The drier than normal forecast is expected to hold through the winter, but longer term, temperatures are predicted to be cooler than normal.

The predictions are largely based on cooler than normal temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, a condition called La Nina. La Nina decreases chances of seasonal rainfall in Southern California.

For December, the chances of below normal rainfall was 33%. Likewise, the chances of above normal temperatures was 33%, except for along the coastline.

In spite of predictions, rainfall for the season to date has been at or above normal in most inland valley locations. Temperatures have generally run below normal.

Average rainfall for December is nearly double November's, usually running between 1.66" and 2.88". Along with January and February, December is typically one of the wettest months of the year. Average high temperatures are significantly colder, in the middle to upper 60's. Average low temperatures are in the upper 30's to middle 40's.

Here's what's normal for the month of December, by community:

Location Precip. High
De Luz 2.88"  64°F 
Fallbrook 2.82"  66°F 
Hemet 1.73"  65°F 
Lake Elsinore 2.00"  66°F 
Menifee 1.66"  66°F 
Murrieta 2.47"  66°F 
Temecula 2.12"  69°F 

Note: normals are used for communities with five or more years of data.

Temperature Outlook Dec 2010 Precipitation Outlook Dec 2010
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