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Here’s a word about Temecula weather from someone in the know.

Sure, it’s a nice place, but the weather is brutally hot. This is the way I so often hear the weather in Temecula described. Seems everywhere I go in Temecula, I hear people complaining about the weather.

These sorts of comments always befuddle me, because I think Temecula has a wonderful climate. Actually, I sometimes complain about the weather too —- not to describe Temecula, but Laguna Beach. Surprising? Well, I’m here to defend the weather of Temecula, which I think is close to perfect —- and I think the local grapes will agree.

We are lucky enough to have two homes: one in Laguna Beach and one in Temecula. Fact is, we have far more unbearably gloomy days at the beach than there are unbearably hot days in Temecula. Countless times during the years we have woken up in Laguna to May Gray, June Gloom, etc., and abandoned our beachside home in search of sunshine in good old Temecula. Take this year alone: In the 122 days from March through June, the beach (by my count) has had only about 12 full days of warmth and sun. Ugh! Yet nobody ever complains about beach weather. We try to escape to wonderful Temecula as often as possible, where the morning gloom usually burns off by mid-morning to reveal blue sky and temps in the 80s.

Then recently, abruptly, the beach fog disappeared and the weather turned downright hot. Think it’s hot right now in Temecula? Try living at the beach with no air conditioning. Inside our Temecula home, we turn on the A/C and spend the day in comfort, as opposed to sweltering at our Laguna Beach house, which heats up on recent days to become downright ovenlike.

On July 14, as I drove into Temecula, I stopped for lunch at Ye Old Public House (they have a killer Reuben sandwich) and was the only person sitting outside on the patio. My waiter made it pretty clear that he would prefer I come inside so he would not have to come outside to serve me, and made comments about me being “brave to sit outside in 103-degree weather.” Fact is, my car registered the outside temp at a toasty 90 degrees (far from 103), and a nice breeze actually made sitting outside quite comfortable. When I mentioned to the waiter the actual temperature, it was clear he did not believe it could be less than 100.

So Temeculans, listen up: Sure, it gets hot some days in Temecula. That’s why they call it summer. But when it’s hot in Temecula, it’s usually hot most everywhere else in Southern California as well. I watched the evening TV news the other night as they listed the hottest places around the region: Temecula was not on the list. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Temecula make that list. And unlike many other inland spots, Temecula has the relative luxury of breezes flowing in through the passes.

So quit complaining, and enjoy your summer.

MIKE PETRIE lives in Temecula.
Posted in North County Times Commentary on Friday, July 23.2010

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