Sacramento Climate Forecast

This page is about what the climate will be like in Sacramento over your lifetime.

1.0 Sacramento’s past, present and future climate

1.1 What’s Sacramento’s climate changing from?

1.1 What’s Sacramento’s climate changing to?

2.0 Sacramento’s Climate Forecast

2.1 How hot will it get in Sacramento?

2.2 This is how the climate is changing in Sacramento.

1.0 Sacramento’s Past, Present and Future Climate

1.1 What is Sacramento’s climate changing from?

This shows the two attributes that best describes Sacramento's Mediterranean climate. Graphic.

Sacramento’s climate is currently classified as Hot Summer Mediterranean, which has mild, rainy winters, and warm/hot, often rainless summers. The local climate here has been more or less the same for tens of thousands of years.

Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Köppen_climate_classification

1.2 What is Sacramento’s climate changing to?

These are three attributes of Sacramento's coming so-called Calescent climate. Graphic.

Sacramento is trending toward a much hotter, much drier climate – something that could tentatively be called “Torrid-Summer Calescent.” Latin for “getting hot,” calescent describes the reality of Sacramento’s emerging climate. This climate will feature extremely hot, long summers, and winters that are actually warm. Sacramento will get little rain throughout the year, but super-heavy damaging rainstorms will pound the City for a few days every few months, years, or decades.

The impacts will be difficult (see Section 2). Visually, the landscape around Sacramento will begin to look more barren, with less and less variety of plant and animal life.

As new atmospheric patterns accelerate, especially during the 2040s and 2050s, scientists will be able to assign a climatological name to Sacramento’s emerging climate type. Scientists expect the characteristics of this new climate to be unlike any that currently exist on Earth.

Dictionary: Calescent. adjective (comparative more calescent, superlative most calescent): increasing in warmth, getting hot. from Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition

State Govt Report: Sacramento Valley Report. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment (2018)  Hall, Alex; Berg, Neil; Reich, Katharine. (University of California, Los Angeles)  Publication number: SUM-CCCA4-2018-007


2.0 Sacramento’s Climate Forecast

The usual weather (the climate) of Sacramento has been changing over the past several decades, and the change has been accelerating – especially since the 1990s. Here’s how the climate is trending in Sacramento, California, “The City of Trees.”

2.1 This is how hot it will get in Sacramento.

The highest range of temps projected in Sacramento during this century is 122.5 – 128.7. Using a medium high warming scenario, climate scientists project Sacramento reaching this temp range by the the 2070s or 2080s – and only for a few days.

Downtown Sacramento’s highest temp on record, is 113˚ set on July 10 2021 (tied with a day in 1961). During the last century, a temp in the 100˚s was very rare. Since the 1990s, temps above 100˚ have become much more common.

August 2021 is Sacramento’s warmest of the 1,500 or so months since records began in 1880s.

Cal-Adapt. (2018). [Number of Extreme Heat Days for 6×6 km grid cell (34.03125, -118.21875) RCP 8.5, Global Climate Models HadGEM2-ES, CNRM-CM5, CanESM2, MIROC5]. Cal-Adapt website developed by University of California at Berkeley’s Geospatial Innovation Facility under contract with the California Energy Commission. Retrieved [15 Aug 2021], from https://cal-adapt.org/tools/extreme-heat/

Livneh et al, (2015) A spatially comprehensive, hydrometeorological data set for Mexico, the U.S., and Southern Canada 1950–2013. Scientific Data, 2(1). doi:10.1038/sdata.2015.42

Pierce, D. W., J. F. Kalansky, and D. R. Cayan, (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) 2018. Climate, Drought, and Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the Fourth California Climate Assessment. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, California Energy Commission. Publication Number: CNRA-CEC-2018-006.

This shows Sacramento's normal summertime high temperatures, which used to range between 78 and 92 degrees. Graphic.

Normal Temps: In the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, Sacramento’s normal temp during July was 92.˚

National Weather Service (NWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Data for Midtown Sacramento, 19812010 averages   

2.2 Longer, scorching Summers to be normal in Sacramento.

Longer Hotter Summertimes: The 2020s – 2040s and 2070s – 2090s timelines here show Sacramento’s emerging new heat season. Atmospheric scientists are calling this extended period of high heat a “Super Summer.”

Cal-Adapt. (2018). [Number of Extreme Heat Days for 6×6 km grid cell (38.58, -121.46) RCP 8.5, Global Climate Models HadGEM2-ES, CNRM-CM5, CanESM2, MIROC5]. Cal-Adapt website developed by University of California at Berkeley’s Geospatial Innovation Facility under contract with the California Energy Commission. Retrieved [15 Aug 2021], from https://cal-adapt.org/tools/extreme-heat/

Livneh et al, (2015) A spatially comprehensive, hydrometeorological data set for Mexico, the U.S., and Southern Canada 1950–2013. Scientific Data, 2(1). doi:10.1038/sdata.2015.42

Pierce, D. W., J. F. Kalansky, and D. R. Cayan, (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) 2018. Climate, Drought, and Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the Fourth California Climate Assessment. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, California Energy Commission. Publication Number: CNRA-CEC-2018-006.

State Govt Report: Sacramento Valley Report. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment (2018)  Hall, Alex; Berg, Neil; Reich, Katharine. (University of California, Los Angeles)  Publication number: SUM-CCCA4-2018-007

2.3 From the 1990s to the 2050s, the number of extreme heat days in Sacramento quintuples

Extremely hot daytime high temps during the summer months have been on the increase and will continue to rise as time goes on. The 5 days of extremely hot summertime temps in the 1990s is lengthening to 25 days in the 2050s.

Cal-Adapt. (2018). [Number of Extreme Heat Days for 6×6 km grid cell (38.58, -121.46) RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5, Global Climate Models HadGEM2-ES, CNRM-CM5, CanESM2, MIROC5]. Cal-Adapt website developed by University of California at Berkeley’s Geospatial Innovation Facility under contract with the California Energy Commission. Retrieved [15 Aug 2021], from https://cal-adapt.org/tools/extreme-heat/

Livneh et al, (2015) A spatially comprehensive, hydrometeorological data set for Mexico, the U.S., and Southern Canada 1950–2013. Scientific Data, 2(1). doi:10.1038/sdata.2015.42

Pierce, D. W., J. F. Kalansky, and D. R. Cayan, (Scripps Institution of Oceanography) 2018. Climate, Drought, and Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the Fourth California Climate Assessment. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, California Energy Commission. Publication Number: CNRA-CEC-2018-006.