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Climate of the Angelo Reserve

The region's Mediterranean-type climate with wet, cool winters and dry, warm summers, is modified locally by the rugged topography of the Angelo Coast Range Reserve. The average annual precipitation here is among the highest in California (215.6 centimeters/84.9 inches), and most falls as rain during intense winter storms. Although cool, coastal air snakes its way up the river corridor, summer fog rarely surmounts the solid barrier of Elkhorn Ridge that separates the reserve from the Pacific Ocean, 15 kilometers (9 miles) to the west.

With little moderation from marine air, summer days at the reserve are very warm - average August high is 31C (88F) - and winter lows are typically below freezing. The steep topography sets in motion a noticeable cold air drain, creating temperature inversions and increasing the chance of frost during all but the warmest months.

A solar-powered weather station installed in 1990 near reserve headquarters, records precipitation, air temperature, solar radiation, and Eel River water temperature and level. Earlier accounts of daily temperatures and precipitation date back to 1942, when Heath Angelo began keeping weather records from near the mouth of Elder Creek.

Text by Margaret Herring, edited by Susan Gee Runsey and hyperlinks added by John Latto.
Used with permission of the UC Natural Reserve System.