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Palm Springs Weather and Climate
Getting today's weather or a forecast for the upcoming week is easy. If you want to know what the weather might be six months from now - or whenever you're planning your Palm Springs trip - averages may be more helpful. That's what this guide is for.
If you're reading this, you're probably thinking about visiting Palm Springs. To plan your trip the easy way, check this guide to spending a day or a weekend in Palm Springs.
In general, Palm Springs has a desert climate, with scorching, dry summers, pleasant winters, lots of sunshine and little rainfall. In fact, Palm Springs is sunny (on average) more than 350 days every year. Like most deserts, it cools off fast at night, but on a scalding day, not soon enough.
Do You Think Metric?
We're bilingual. Just click on over to page 3 to find the same information in units you're used to working with.
A Few Things You May Not Know About Palm Springs Weather
You already know that averages aren't perfect predictors, but they can give you an idea. The tables provide the typical conditions at a glance.
The temperature at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - which is at 8,500 feet elevation - can be 30°F lower than in downtown Palm Springs. That's 5°C lower at 2,600 meters.
In winter, it often snows in the surrounding mountains. The Tramway offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even snow camping.
All of those electricity-generating windmills outside of Palm Springs are a hint about something the visitor's bureau won't tell you: it can be very windy. When the wind starts blowing hard, it can exceed 60 mph (96 kph). The natural result of windy conditions in the desert is a sandstorm. It's usually worst at the foot of the mountains, raging right through town. Locals say the wind is worse in fall and late spring, but I've seen sandstorms blowing in February - more than once.
Desert air is drier than you might think in terms of how it affects your body. Unprepared visitors may end up running to the local store for extra strength moisturizer and soothing eye drops. Saline nasal spray can also help with the uncomfortable dry nose feeling.
Palm Springs Weather Records
The highest recorded temperature in Palm Springs was 123°F in 1995. The lowest was 19 °F in 1937.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
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What to Wear, What to Pack for Your Palm Springs Trip
What to Wear in Palm Springs
You know how to match temperature to your wardrobe selection, so this list focuses more on style and practical considerations you might not think of.
- Resort casual clothing will be appropriate almost anywhere in Palm Springs. Think polo shirts, khaki pants and loafers for men. For women, a cute casual dress or sundress is fine. So are nice pants or skirts paired with a slightly dressy top.
- Few restaurants have dress codes. If you want to get dressed up a little, men can get by with a nice shirt and trousers and women can wear a cocktail dress or sundress with sandals
- The desert cools off fast after sunset, and you may need an extra layer in the evening.
- Even in the hottest part of summer, you may also need an extra layer: Every place you go into will have their air conditioner blasting.
- Pack another extra layer if you plan to take the Palm Springs Tram. Temperatures are much cooler up there.
- If you're packing a swimsuit, you'll also need a cover up - the sun is too intense to be in it all day long.
- Hats are a must in the bright sun. Big brims are a good idea, too.
- Sturdy shoes with thick soles and good traction if you plan to go hiking
What to Pack for Palm Springs
These are a few things that I have found helpful to have along when going to Palm Springs:
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- The desert can be so dry that a fire could break out in the river. Avoid an emergency trip to the local store by bringing lots of lotion, moisturizer and eyedrops. If your nose tends to dry out quickly, add a bottle of saline nose spray to keep it moister.
- Strong sunscreen is a good idea, higher SPF than you might use at home.
- Cooling neck wraps are a big help on hot days. Sold at sporting goods stores, they contain a gel that soaks up water, then keeps you cool as it evaporates. Small, personal misters are also a big help.
- If you plan to do a driving tour, a small, portable ice chest is a good way to carry a few cool drinks and snacks.
- If your hair tends to fall flat in dry weather, bring extra products to keep it fluffed up.
- You're unlikely to need an umbrella or raincoat - Palm Springs' rainiest month (February) brings only a little over an inch of rain.
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Palm Springs Weather and Climate (Metric Units)
If you're more comfortable with Celsius and centimeters than Fahrenheit and inches and these graphs are just for you.
If you prefer those units of measure, then I'm guessing that you may be an international visitor. If you are, you're not alone.
Besides the information on the previous page, here are a few more things that may help you plan your trip:
- International driver's license requirements
- When you need snow chains in California - and where to get them
- Some simple rules of the road in California
Palm Springs Weather Records
The highest recorded temperature in Palm Springs was 51°C in 1995. The lowest was −7°C in 1937.