SF Weather – The Good, The Brrr, And The Foggy

There's a famous saying about SF weather. "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco," said Mark Twain. And that might well be the most important thing to know before you go — summers in San Francisco are foggy and cold.

Armed with this knowledge, planning your San Francisco vacation will be a whole lot easier. No matter what season you are visiting SF, always pack layers of warm clothing. To understand its weather you have to understand its surroundings. The City By The Bay is surrounded by the chilly waters of the Pacific ocean and… well, the bay. The big, white fog is one thing you can count on, no matter the season.

SF Weather – Summer


Fog, fog, and more fog. The local weather on cool summer days varies depending on the neighborhood you're visiting. If you get tired of the cool city temperatures, you can always drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to experience an immediate blast of hot weather as you get close to Sausalito. The average high temperatures for June, July and August are in the mid 60s F. Although chilly, rainfall during the summer months is practically non-existent.

SF Weather – Autumn


Fall in SF can be dazzling. Like spring, fall days are sunny and warm with a few scorchers thrown in for good measure. The average high temperature in September and October is a balmy 70°. In November the temperature starts to drop into the mid 60s. Fall weather in San Francisco is fairly dry with rains beginning in October (when average rainfall is one inch) and really picking up in November.

Winter in San Francisco

Winter in San Francisco

Snow is rare. In fact, the last snowfall was in 1976. Rain, however, is frequent. Overall, even with the rain, from December to February you can expect mild temperatures. Average high temperatures in winter (November to February) range from the high 50s to the mid 60s. Winters in SF do mean rain — the average rainfall in January is five inches!

Spring Weather in SF

Spring Weather in SF

If any season in SF resembles what we think of as summer, it's spring! From March to May you can depend on warm, dry days, mostly fog-free and rain-free. Average high temperatures in spring range from the low to mid 60s. The average rainfall drops to one inch in April and May.

What to Wear

Make clothing layers your best friend and you'll have a happy visit. Always carry a warm sweater or a light jacket. San Franciscans are a hearty bunch and even they rarely leave the house without extra warmth. It's rare to see anyone in a tank top, even in the hottest months. Plus, with all the hills, you'll want to leave your high heels at home and bring your sturdy, practical footwear to climb.

The Best Time to Visit

San Francisco — with its world class museums, restaurants and shopping — is an ideal place to visit no matter the weather, no matter the season. Spring and fall give you the best chance of blue skies and warm temperatures.

San Francisco Microclimates

Did you know that there are three microclimates in the city? The Fog Belt includes the western neighborhoods like Richmond & Sunset), the Transition Zone in the middle of the city includes the Haight and the Marina, and the Sunbelt contains the Mission, Dogpatch, and neighborhoods in the east of the city. If you want to escape the fog head to the Mission which is protected by the tallest peaks in the city, Twin Peaks.

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