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California has a Mediterranean-type climate that is characterized by general sun and warmth with rain mainly in the winter. Climate does vary greatly based on distance from the ocean and elevation. There are five main climatic zones which exist in the state.
Rainfall varies from 80 inches in Del Norte County (North Coast) to as low as 3 inches in Imperial County (Desert).
- Coastal climate: This area contains most of the state's population. It varies greatly up and down the coast.
- Desert climate: Characterized by great daily and annual variations in temperature with very little rainfall.
- Foothill climate: 1,000 to 3,000 ft. in elevation with climate similar to valley regions but with more rain and less fog.
- Mountain climate: This is the sole region for heavy snow, accented with fairly cold winters and bright, sunny summers.
- Valley climate: Characterized by high temperature and low humidity in the summer and low temperature and high humidity in the winter. Both the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys exhibit this type of climatology.
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