Only one tropical storm has ever hit the California coast. It hit near Long Beach in September 1939 with 50-mph winds. The rest of the tropical systems that near California die before making land because the water temperatures off the coast are too cold to support tropical growth. Tropical systems need the ocean to be at least 80 degrees, otherwise the storm will weaken. Southern California has received some good rain from dying tropical storms, but only one has made a direct hit.