Tuesday was the first day of March, but in the Coachella Valley it felt more like the start of April or even May as Palm Springs broke into the 90s and set a weather record.
As of around 3:30 p.m., the temperature in Palm Springs was 93 degrees, besting the old March 1 record of 91 degrees set in 2016, the National Weather Service said.
That high put Palm Springs well above its average March 1 high of 77 degrees.
"You're 14 degrees above normal, which is pretty impressive," National Weather Service Meteorologist Elizabeth Schenk said at around 1:30 p.m., when the temperature hit 91.
The unseasonably high temperatures are the result of a ridge of high pressure over the intermountain west that has resulted in clear skies and dry conditions in Palm Springs.
"That allows for temperatures to get very warm," she said. "And a lot of times in these scenarios, that's when we get Santa Ana winds and those are very warm and dry winds as well."
Schenk said Tuesday would likely be the warmest day of the pattern, although Wednesday will still be very hot with temperatures in the upper 80s. Temperatures are expected to move down into the mid-80s before things really start to cool down on Friday as a low-pressure system moves into California.
"We are looking at highs in just the 60s Friday and this weekend," she said.
That system also will bring a chance of precipitation, with the best chance for rain coming during the day on Friday. However, Schenk said to expect only about 1/10 to 1/4 of an inch of rain in the desert, with higher totals expected to the west. Some areas might not get any rain, she said.
That system also will bring breezy conditions, which are expected to start on Thursday night and last through Saturday.
While Monday was also unseasonably warm, Palm Springs did not come close to breaking a record: Palm Springs reached a high of 86 degrees, putting it 8 degrees shy of the record high of 94 set back in 1986.
Paul Albani-Burgio covers breaking news and the City of Palm Springs. Follow him on Twitter at @albaniburgiop and via email at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Palm Springs sets record high temperature on Tuesday