September 2020 California Heatwave Matches, Exceeds Sep 2017 & July 2006

Written by on September 10, 2020 in United States of America with 0 Comments

It just seems like heat records are endlessly melting across many parts of the world from across northern Siberia to Thailand and up to Taiwan and Japan. Oh and California and the Western US.

July of 2006 was a particularly sweltering month for the United States and particularly Southern California as countless long standing heat records tumbled. This included LA county’s highest ever temperature where Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley reached a seemingly unbelievable 119 degrees.

Then came September 2020 and the heat bar was raised even further as Woodland Hills climbed to a remarkable 121 degrees on Sunday. Chino, just 32 miles east of Downtown LA also reached a new all-time record high of 121 degrees. As well as the highest temperature on record for LA county, it’s also the highest reading west of the coastal mountains.

Downtown Los Angeles reached 111, missing the all-time record of 113 recorded back in September 2010.

In the desert resort city of Palm Springs, the thermometer reached 122. A reading which has occurred several times over the last 10 years in the months of June, July and August but never in September until 2020. The previous September record was 121 set in 1950. The last time the city reached it’s all-time high of 123 was back in 1995. This maximum has been achieved a total of 4 times.

Probably the most stunning record was set at the near-ocean city of San Luis Obispo where here the thermometer rose to a Death Valley-like 120 degrees. According to climate historian Maximiliano Herrera, this is likely the hottest temperature recorded so close to the Pacific. Just 9 miles from the 63 degree waters.

Credit: The Weather Network

Some LA foothill communities failed to fall below 100 for a minimum.

Las Vegas, NV sweated their hottest September day with a high of 114. Just 4 days later and they set a record cool high of 81. As seen in the below graphic, Needles and Barstow, CA set new September maximums.

For only the 12th times in 147 years, Downtown San Francisco, CA topped 100. This is the 6th highest reading on record according to NWS meteorologist Jan Null. SF’s all-time record is 106 set back in September 2017. Nine of the twice 100-degree days in Downtown SF occurred in September.

In Sacramento, the high reached 109, tying the all-time September record, previously reached in 2017.

In the north Sacramento Valley, Red Bluff set a new September record with 113, surpassing it’s previous September record of 109 set in 1957.

Reno, NV reached 102, surpassing the previous September record of 100 recorded back in 2017.


An extreme ridge combined with Santa Ana winds and you’ve got the hottest on record!

Park a monster 600dm high directly over the California-Nevada line and drive a strong Santa Ana through it and you’ve got potential for ‘hottest ever recorded’. Intensely hot air mixed with descending Santa Ana’s from the mountains did just that! The hottest day on record came to several communities from San Diego to San Bernardino county.

After seeing potentially a new world heat record in Death Valley, CA back in August at 130 degrees, the same site has now recorded it’s highest September temperature at 125 degrees. This surpasses it’s previous September record of 123 set back in 1996.


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