The Sierra Nevada Mountains hold our state's summer water in the winter snowpack that they accumulate. Mount Whitney, whose peak is over 14,500 feet, is the highest point in the lower 48 states.
The desert is very dry, as expected, and very hot in the summer. Death Valley, our nation's lowest point, is not only blistering hot in the sumer, but is also freezing in the winter. The Mojave Desert is considered high desert and actually has snow dustings throughout the winter.
The central valley, where I live, has rich, fertile soil, but has very little rainfall. We typically get less than six inches annually. Bakersfield lies at the very southern end of the central valley. Our fertile farmland is fed by creeks and rivers that drain from the western edge of the Sierra Nevada. Our summers are extremely hot (highs are in the low 100s, lows can frequently be 80 - 85 degrees), but our winters are generally mild (highs in the 60s, lows in the 30s).
In the central valley, Coast Ranges, and desert, you can ride nearly 365 days a year. It might be relatively cold, but it's not impossible. I grew up along the north coast and rode whether it rained or not. And even in the summer, when the valley's heat reaches 110, we still ride. We may have to do it at 6:00 a.m., but it's doable. And like Sunday afternoon, there are winter days that are more like summer for some parts of the world. Our skies were brilliantly blue, and the sun shone down warmly. The rest of the month will probably continue to be chilly, but the dry air means lots of winter riding.
Welcome to California Barn Life!