• Scenic View from Inspiration Point, Anacapa Island ©timhaufphotography.com

    Channel Islands

    National Park California

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  • Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage

    Santa Barbara Island is currently closed to public access due to damage from the high surf associated with Hurricane Marie. More »

  • San Miguel Island Closure

    In the interest of public safety, the U.S. Navy is closing San Miguel Island until further notice due to recent concerns of possible unexploded ordnance. More »

Weather

Tim Hauf
 

For the most current weather forecast, please visit Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary's Internet Weather Kiosk.

 

Spring | Summer | Fall | Winter

Although the park is located in "sunny" southern California, we actually do have seasons here. While the seasonal changes are nothing like one would find in Minnesota, there are differences that visitors should take into consideration when visiting the park. Each season has its own character and casts a unique mood over the islands.

In addition, visitors also should be aware that ocean and weather conditions vary considerably from day-to-day and island-to-island. Although this makes planning your visit a little difficult, we must remember that this unpredictable and, at times, unforgiving weather is one of the main reasons that the islands have been afforded so much isolation and protection from the rapid changes seen on the mainland. It is, in part, what makes the Channel Islands such a unique and wonderful place.

We encourage you to take the opportunity to fully enjoy the islands throughout the entire year. Channel Islands National Park is truly a place for all seasons.

In general, the islands have a Mediterranean climate year-round. Temperatures are relatively stable, with highs averaging in the mid-60s (°F) and lows in the low-50s.

However, visitors to the islands must be prepared for high winds, fog, rough seas, and sea spray at any time. Winds are often calm in the early morning and increase during the afternoon. High winds may occur regardless of the forecast, especially on the outer islands, Santa Rosa and San Miguel (30-knot winds are not unusual). Anacapa, eastern Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara Islands have more moderate winds. Dense fog is common during the late spring and early summer months, but may occur at any time. Ocean water temperatures range from the lower 50s (°F) in the winter to the upper 60s in the fall.

Due to this weather variation, visitors to the islands should dress in layers, with short and long pants, fleece jacket or sweatshirt, windbreaker, hat, sunscreen, and waterproof outer clothing. In addition, visitors should wear sturdy hiking shoes with non-slip soles.

 

Spring

Although temperatures are becoming warmer, strong winds often occur during this season. Dense fog is common during the late spring. Ocean temperatures range from the mid 50s to low 60s.

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Summer

Temperatures average in the low-70s. Afternoon winds are common. Fog diminishes near midsummer. Calm winds and seas become more frequent near the end of summer and continue through October. Ocean temperatures begin to warm, reaching the high 60s by end of summer. Underwater visibility increases.

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Fall

The best chance for warm weather, calm winds, and seas continues. However, beginning around October, strong east or Santa Ana winds are possible. Ocean temperatures may reach 70° (F) in early fall and visibility may reach 100 feet.

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Winter

Temperatures begin to cool. Winter storms start to appear, with most rain falling between December and March. Nevertheless, beautiful, sunny, clear winter days occur between storms.

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Did You Know?

Blue whale                                          Photo: Brad Sillasen

Park and sanctuary waters are home to the largest aggregation of blue whales in the world. Approximately 10% of the global blue whale population gathers in the channel during the summer. More...