My Home in the Palo Verde Valley
Thomas Blythe (1825-1885), the San Francisco developer and financier, is the namesake of the city of Blythe, California. He first came to the Palo Verde Valley in 1877, and established primary water rights on the Colorado River. The city was incorporated on July 21, 1916.
Thomas H. Blythe, San Francisco, 1881
Blythe, California, is an isolated city in the northern end of the Palo Verde Valley of the Colorado River on the Arizona border. It is at the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. highway 95.
Located in the Lower Colorado Valley of the Sonoran Desert, the region consists of sandy or gravely plains, low mountains, sand dunes and alkali sinks. Drainage channels, known as washes, store water to support trees and large shrubs along their banks.
Palo Verde, "green branch" in Spanish,
is a common tree in the region.
Agriculturally based and heavily impacted by two state prisons and tourism, Blythe has a population of 21,500, and the general area about 30,300. The population more than triples during the winter months, with the arrival of Snowbirds, visitors seeking relief from cold climate in other parts of the country and Canada.
The Colorado River Recreation Area extends from Yuma, Arizona, to Lake Powell, a distance of about 650 miles. The area offers boating, fishing, hunting and other water sports. There are almost 95 miles of navigable water between Blythe and Imperial Dam in Yuma
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Blythe, California, USA 92225
Blythe's climate is warm, with sunshine 360 days a year. Actual temperatures can range from a low of 20 F to a high of 122 F. A summer low temperature in the high 90s would not be considered unexpected. The average annual rainfall is 3.96 inches.
The rainy season comes during the summer monsoon, which peaks during August and September. An unusual amount of rain comes periodically during an El Niño weather pattern, which can more than double the years rainfall. Snowfall occurrs about twice a century.
Air pollution, except from agricultural burning, has yet to find its way to Blythe and fifty-mile visibility is common. On some days, the peak of Mt. San Jacinto, towering over Palm Springs, can be seen 130 miles to the west.
Weather Statistics for Blythe, California NOAA-CIRES Climate Diagnostics. These data are from 1961 to 1990, with most of the data from the 1980s missing.
Elevation: 262 feet
Number of years available from 1961 to 1990: 23
Maximum temperature 1961 to 1990: 122 F
Minimum temperature 1961 to 1990: 20 F
Mean Annual Precipitation: 3.3 inches
Mean Annual Snowfall: 0.0 inches
The chart below from the NOAA-CIRES shows mean high and low temperatures and precipitation for Blythe.
The blue line on the precipitation map indicates rain, the red line indicates snow. The red line is virtually flat, although it does snow once or twice a century.
Although California is remembered for its earthquakes, Blythe is one of the most seismically stable cities in the Western States. There has not been an earthquake entered here in over half a million years. Earthquakes centered as far away as the Los Angeles area are felt here, however, and the alluvial nature of the Palo Verde Valley soil intensifies the effect.
Latest Earthquakes and Realtime Info for Southern California from the U. S. G. S.