Region San Diego


The San Diego region is known for its mild year-round Mediterranean climate, narrow beaches backed by sea cliffs, low inland mountains, and deserts. Much of its 70 miles of coastline provide recreation and tourism, a key component of the regional economy. The region’s agricultural industry includes many small farms, and San Diego is also a center of high solar power production. The region has many highly populated urban and suburban cities that house its population of ~3.3 million.


By 2100, temperature is projected to increase substantially by 5 to 10°F. Along with average temperature, the number of heat wave days is projected to increase between 20–50 percent with a temperature increase of 6°F. Higher amounts of warming are expected in inland areas compared to coastal areas.


Precipitation will remain highly variable but will change seasonally, with wetter winters, drier springs, and more frequent and severe droughts. Most models indicate that there will be fewer wet days, but with more intense precipitation. Longer dry, warm seasons with less daytime humidity will cause stronger seasonal dryness of the landscape, and more dry years leading to larger water deficits across the landscape.


The threat of wildfire is projected to worsen with increasingly warm and dry landscapes and longer dry seasons, coupled with occasional dry windy weather patterns. Wildfire risk will increase substantially during dangerous fire weather extremes caused by Santa Ana winds.


Sea level along the San Diego County coast is expected to rise approximately 1.2–2.0 feet by mid-century, and between 3.6–7.1 feet or more by 2100, with the potential for 10.2 feet under the extreme sea-level rise scenario. For the next several decades, high tides combined with elevated shoreline water levels and large coastal wave events will drive more extreme flooding onshore.

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