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Palm Desert

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Below is some general information about Palm Desert:

Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 11 miles (18 km) east of Palm Springs. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state’s fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000.

A major center of growth in the Palm Springs area, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for “snowbirds” from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern United States, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become “full-timers”, mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for affordable but high-valued home prices.

The area was first known as the Old MacDonald Ranch, but the name changed to Palm Village in the 1920s when date palms were planted. Local historians said the main residents of pre-1950 Palm Desert were Cahuilla Indian farmers of the now extinct San Cayetano tribe, but a few members of the Montoya family of Cahuilla/Spanish descent were prominent leaders in civic life. The first residential development occurred in 1943 in connection with an Army maintenance camp in the area. That site was later developed into “El Paseo”, an upscale shopping district not unlike Rodeo Drive. In 1948, the Palm Desert Corporation began to develop real estate, and in 1951 the area was given its present name.

The climate of the Coachella Valley is influenced by the surrounding geography. High mountain ranges on three sides and a south-sloping valley floor all contribute to its unique and year-round warm climate, with the warmest winters in the western United States. Palm Desert has an arid climate: Its average annual high temperature is 89 °F (32 °C) and average annual low is 62 °F (17 °C) but summer highs above 108 °F (42 °C) are common and sometimes exceed 120 °F (49 °C), while summer night lows often stay above 82 °F (28 °C). Winters are warm with daytime highs between 73–84 °F (23–29 °C). Under 5 inches (130 mm) of annual precipitation are average, with over 348 days of sunshine per year. The mean annual temperature at 75.8 °F (24.3 °C) makes Palm Desert one of the warmest places in the United States. The surrounding mountains create a Thermal Belt in the southern foothills of Palm Desert leading to a unique micro-climate with significantly warmer night-time temperatures during the winter months. The University of California maintains weather stations located in this Thermal Belt as part of their ecological project in the Boyd Deep Canyon Reserve. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Palm Desert was 125 °F (52 °C) on July 6, 1905.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.0 square miles (70 km2), of which, 26.8 square miles (69 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (0.76%) is water. The elevation (City hall) is 224 feet (68 m) above sea level. Elevations vary from the lower northern half once covered in sand dunes to the upper slope southern cove (300–900 feet/91–270 metres) all the way to the ridgeline at 1,000 feet (over 300 meters). Palm Desert is located in the Coachella Valley, the north-western extension of the Sonoran Desert. Sun City Palm Desert, California lies on the northern side of Interstate 10 from Palm Desert itself, but is unincorporated and not part of the City of Palm Desert (the original name was Sun City Palm Springs from 1991 to 1996).

Source: Palm Desert on Wikipedia