San Diego: Geography and Climate

San Diego is just 20 miles north of Mexico, situated in the rolling hills and mesas that rise from the Pacific shore to join with the Laguna Mountains to the east. Its bay is one of the country's finest natural harbors. The city covers a large area of vastly different terrain: miles of ocean and bay shoreline, densely forested hills, fertile valleys, and mountains, canyons, and desert. The climate varies in a similar manner. On the coast, the temperatures are mild and constant, while in the desert areas, the temperature can fluctuate as much as 30 degrees in one day. San Diego is about 120 miles south of Los Angeles.

The climate in San Diego is tempered by the Pacific Ocean air, keeping the summers cool and the winters warm. Severe weather is rare in the area; snow is almost unknown, and the city averages only three thunderstorms a year. September and October often bring hot eastern winds from the desert, producing what are usually the hottest days of the year.

Area: 324.3 square miles (2000)

Elevation: Ranges from sea level to 1,591 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 55.4° F; August, 72.2° F; annual average, 63.2° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 9.32 inches