Wednesday was the first time it had rained that day in Palm Springs in at least 128 years, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather service reported that 0.03 inches of rain was measured at the Palm Springs International Airport on Wednesday, and streaks fell elsewhere in the Coachella Valley.
No rain had previously been reported in Palm Springs on June 23. The city’s archives date back to 1893.
Wednesday’s precipitation was the highest Coachella Valley has seen in more than three months Wednesday. It was the rainiest day since the 0.04 inch drop on March 10.
Meteorologist James Brotherton said Palm Springs is generally a strong barometer for weather behavior in the Coachella Valley, but stopped before saying Wednesday’s precipitation was the first time the entire valley had experienced rain on the 23rd. June.
After Wednesday’s rain, the Palm Springs airport still has not reached an inch of precipitation in 2021. The annual total is now 0.60 inches, but no further rain is expected in the Coachella Valley for the rest of the week.
Casey Oswant, a meteorologist in the San Diego office of the National Weather Service, said the unusual weather in late June was the result of recent weather events over the Pacific Ocean.
“We are getting some extra moisture from what was Tropical Storm Dolores, which cleared off the coast of Mexico a few days ago,” Oswant said. “We have a low pressure system off the west coast and it is able to pick up moisture from Tropical Storm Dolores and pull it into our area.”
The last time there was measurable rain in the area was on April 27, when there was a “trail” – or less than a hundredth of an inch – of rain in the area, according to Oswant.
Wednesday is also expected to be the coolest day of the week and – potentially – the first day of the week with high temperatures remaining below 100 degrees. Predicted highs were between 100 and 105 degrees for Palm Springs, but Oswant said unusually dense cloud cover could prevent the highs from exceeding the upper 90s. The last time the valley peaks stayed in the ’90s was June 10, when Palm Springs only hit 97 degrees.
The cooler afternoon’s high temperature contrasts sharply with last week, when Palm Springs tied its onePermanent high temperature of 123 degrees June 17.
Temperatures are expected to return closer to June averages on Thursday around 105 degrees and rise again above 110 degrees by the weekend and through Tuesday, according to Oswant.
James B. Cutchin covers business in the Coachella Valley. Contact him at [email protected]
City News Service contributed to this report.