Limousine Thermal Los Angeles, Los Angeles Thermal, Thermal LAX, LAX Thermal
City of Thermal
Population : 17,009 (2010)
Median Income: $ 24,760 (2009)
Elevation : -118 feet
City's Area: 116.57 Square Miles
Highest: 93-78 *F
Lowest: 55-40 *F
John Wayne Airport: 122.0 Mi.
LAX Airport : 149.0 Mi.
Ontario Airport : 96.5 Mi.
Thermal is a small unincorporated community located approximately 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs and about 9.5 miles north of the Salton Sea. Although one can find sunny skies most days, residents occasionally endure strong winds and sizzling summer temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The community's elevation is about one hundred twenty feet below mean sea level. It is inside area code 760 and is in ZIP Code 92274. It lies along the Yuma Subdivision of the Union Pacific Railroad. Area crops include citrus orchards, winter vegetables and date palms.
History of the region
Thermal began as a railroad camp in 1910 for employees of the Union Pacific Railroad, followed by Mecca (originally called Walters) in 1915 and Arabia in between, each had about 1,000 residents. Then came the establishment of permanent dwellings on Avenue 56 (renamed Airport Boulevard), former U.S. Route 99 (State Route 86) and State Route 111 by the 1930s.
Agricultural development from canal irrigation made the area thrive in greenery by the 1950s, followed by the former Camp Young U.S. Naval Air station converted into Thermal Airport by 1965. In the early 1990s, a six-lane highway (the new State Route 86) was constructed as an earlier transportation route. There's a proposal for a major commercial aviation Airport known as the Jackie Cochran-Desert Cities Regional Airport in the same site.
Geography and climate
Thermal is one of the hottest locations in North America, hence the name. At 118 feet below sea level, Thermal is also one of the lowest places in North America. It is an arid desert climate. In January, the normal high temperature is 68 degrees with a low of 40. In July, the normal high temperature is 110 degrees with a low of 82. The average high for the year is 89 degrees and the annual precipitation hovers at around 3 inches. Due to the cold air drainage effect in the Coachella Valley, Thermal and other communities on the Southern end of the valley are typically hotter during the day and colder at night when compared to Palm springs at the North end of the valley.
Once mainly rural, recent development and housing tracts from Indio and Coachella has spread out onto the formerly agricultural open spaces of Thermal, Mecca and the exurb of Vista Santa Rosa. Thermal and Vista Santa Rosa presently share the same zip code.
An estimated 5,000 residents live in the Thermal region, but it's said to double during the migrant labor harvest in May to July, and triples by "snowbirds" in the winter months from November to March. Nearby Mecca has over 10,000 residents, doubled in the last 5 years.
Thermal and Mecca are two towns with both seasonal and permanent residential growth. Almost all the population of the region are Latino, most of them are employed in agricultural and manual labor jobs. 4,000 people live in Duroville, a trailer park on the Torres-Martinez Indian Reservation.
There are five Indian reservations: the Cabazon Indian, Twentynine Palms, Torres-Martinez and Augustine Bands of Mission Indians, with legal jurisdiction in portions of the region.
Thermal Airport is located about 1.6 miles southwest of the community. There is also a Thermal VORTAC which may be a co-located with the airport.
The region is served by a two-lane Expressway. State Route 86/111 is a modern transportation corridor that serves as a fruit shipping and international trucking route to connect with Interstate 10 in Indio.
Arabia, California once existed along the route of present-day SR111 between Avenue 60 and Avenue 61. The town had a post office in the early 1900s. The area may become an industrial center to replace the abandoned buildings.
College of the Desert, a community college based in Palm Desert is planning open a new satellite campus, the East Valley Educational Center, on the corner of 62nd Avenue and Buchanan Street.
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