San Francisco Weather

san-francisco-fogSan Francisco weather was made notorious by Mark Twain in his quote “the coldest winter I ever spent was that summer I spent in San Francisco”. The reputation is both deserved and terribly unfair.

The weather in San Francisco, California is never terrible. Huricanes and Tornadoes are unheard of in San Francisco. Thunderstorms are rare. Snow is would be a once in a life time event. Heat waves are short lived. Hot muggy weather is unexperienced. It does not rain in San Francisco, nor in the San Francisco Bay area from May through September. You can plan an outdoor activity without worrying about rain. And in the midst of any foggy morning there always seems to be the chance that the fog will burn off and produce a gloriously suny day, whether it is winter or summer.

Rain

Rain

inches

cm

January

4.06 10.3
February

2.95 7.4
March

3.07 7.8
April

1.29 3.3
May

0.25 0.6
June

0.15 0.4
July

0.04 0.1
August

0.07 0.2
September

0.26 0.7
October

1.25 3.2
November

3.21 8.2
December

3.10 7.9

As mentioned above it does not rain in San Francisco in the Summer, not enough worth talking about anyway. When my wife first visited Central California in the Summer she work up to a gray day and assume it would rain, but that was just a marine layer of fog that keeps the city from getting either too hot or too cold.

Temperature (when to visit San Francisco)

Days may be cool and foggy any time of the year and as Mark Twain discovered the warmest / sunniest days are not in the Summer. Any school student in Northern California can tell you that some of the nicest weather happens just after kids go back to school in September. Nights are always cool and there is no time of the year when you should come to San Francisco without a jacket. The sale of sweatshirts is as brisk as the temperature when the fog rolls over the tourists at Fisherman’s wharf. In the Summertime a short drive (1-2 hours) from San Francisco away from the ocean can easily see a rise in temperature or 10-30 degrees. The ocean keeps San Francisco cool to comfortable while people in Sacremento and the central valley bake.

High Temp

F

C

January

57 14
February

61 16
March

62 17
April

63 17
May

65 18
June

68 20
July

69 21
August

70 21
September

73 23
October

70 21
November

63 17
December

57 14
Low Temp

F

C

January

44 7
February

48 9
March

48 9
April

49 9
May

51 11
June

53 12
July

55 13
August

56 13
September

56 13
October

54 12
November

50 10
December

45 7

Sunshine

No month is San Francisco is filled with sunny days just as no month is devoid of them. One thing that the temperature statistics don’t say is that sunshine is not evenly spread throughout the city. The north and western parts of the city see more fog. I had two co-workers who lived on agacent hills in San Francisco. One hill, the one closest to the ocean, had fog almost every night, the other hill hardly ever had fog.

Sunshine

%

January

56
February

62
March

69
April

74
May

72
June

73
July

66
August

66
September

72
October

71
November

62
December

45
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