If you explore any map of Southern California, you would notice that there is an area that is southeast of Los Angeles that seems to almost entirely encircled by a series of mountain ranges. This is the area known as Coachella Valley and it offers some of the most incredible weather imaginable.
Looking at the map you might point to the city that sits at the western end of the valley, which is the city known as Palm Springs and say that people call this a “desert” location. Often people are a bit confused by the talk of favorable weather in what most would consider the desert, but that is only one of the issues that mislead so many people when this region is discussed.
What we need to do in order to best understand the weather conditions on the eastern side of the San Jacinto and Santa Rosa Mountains is to talk about the weather on their western slopes. If you have ever visited Los Angeles you know that the city seems to be constantly smothered by smog. The word smothered is fairly accurate because it describes the phenomenon known as “inversion”, and it is this that leads to the oppressive air in that city.
Basically, what happens is that the 11,000 foot height of the mountains causes a huge amount of hot air to be lifted and spun back down on the entire stretch of coastline below. When this downward swirling air meets the cool air coming in from the ocean, it tends to trap the smog and leave the city in stifling conditions.
Now, if you head over those mountains, you would see that their height actually protects the entire length of the Coachella Valley from the smog that would have otherwise blown inland and ruined the beauty of the entire setting. Instead, the Valley is sheltered along its 45-mile length, and even improved by the combination of clean air, low humidity and the nearly constant sunshine.
Where can you actually experience this sort of ideal weather in the Coachella Valley? There are two cities known for their incredibly beautiful conditions on a nearly year-round basis. The first is world famous Palm Springs already mentioned and the second is the equally popular La Quinta. Both places enjoy sunshine roughly 350 days out of each year, and both have average winter daytime temperatures (meaning temperatures during the months of December through March) of around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
These weather patterns are not a new phenomenon but have been in existence for a few hundred years. Decades before people were heading to La Quinta and the Coachella Valley for recreation and vacation, there were farmers relying on the ideal conditions to grow everything from sweet corn and Bermuda onions, to seedless grapes and dates. Today, this has resulted in the ability for a large number of organic farmers to continue the tradition and to host weekly organic markets in the heart of Old Town La Quinta. The weather is also a major contributing factor toward making La Quinta and the Palm Springs area the “Golf Capital Of The World” as well!