March was the hottest on record in San Diego since record keeping began in 1874, the National Weather Service reported Wednesday.
March was San Diego’s 17th consecutive month with warmer than average temperatures. The 66.6-degree average last month surpassed the previous record, set in 1978, by 2.3 degrees. Four daily heat records were also set.
Weather service meteorologists said much higher than average sea surface temperatures contributed to the heat last month along the coast and in the valleys.
Record-breaking average temperatures were also recorded in March in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside and Vista.
Meteorologists said last month was the first time in San Diego’s recorded weather history where temperatures in March were 89 degrees or higher for three consecutive days, and 87 degrees or higher for four more straight days. On seven days, temperatures were above 80 degrees, compared with just five days in both 1947 and 1988.
A minimum temperature of 68 degrees on March 15 was the highest on record for any date in March, meteorologists said. Also last month, seven daily high minimum temperature records were either broken or tied.
This winter was also the warmest on record with an average temperature of 62.4 degrees — half a degree high than the prior record set in 1978, according to the NWS.
—City News Service
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