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San Francisco Climate ⛅️ | San Francisco Weather Averages, Temperatures, Yearly, Monthly & More!

Are you visiting the Golden Gate City or considering moving to San Francisco? You’ll probably want to know what the weather is like in San Francisco so you can be prepared.

San Francisco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate typical of the California coast. While living in San Francisco, you’ll enjoy foggy, dry summers and mild winters with lots of rain. The climate in San Francisco is heavily affected by cool Pacific Ocean currents in the west and the San Francisco Bay to the east and north of the city. There are very little seasonal temperature variations.

The city’s famous hills and maritime location also give it many microclimates. The high hills alone account for a 20% difference in annual rainfall between different areas. In east San Francisco, neighborhoods are shielded by the hills from a lot of the fog, wind, and cold experienced in the Sunset District along the Pacific Ocean just south of the Golden Gate Park.

The San Francisco average temperature is in the 60s to 70s with lows in the 40s to 50s depending on the time of year. Be aware that the San Francisco weather year-round can be chilly and damp, but it’s still fairly mild without extreme cold and very rare extremely hot days.

Ready to explore the climate in San Francisco to see if you can imagine life in the Bay Area? Here’s a COMPLETE guide to San Francisco weather averages, seasons, and average temperatures in San Francisco by month.

San Francisco Seasons

Spring

When does spring start in San Francisco? The beginning of spring is March and it brings mild San Francisco spring weather with average highs in the mid-60s. April is usually the sunniest month of spring, but the weather can be unpredictable until May. Make sure you have your sunglasses and sunscreen.
Be sure to enjoy the San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival in April as the delicate cherry trees blossom. The festival showcases the city’s rich Japanese culture with martial arts, cultural performances, live music, food, and a parade. You’ll see tons of blooming cherry trees at Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Tea Garden in April.

 

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Summer

Hate hot and humid summers? You’ll love the climate in San Francisco! The average high temperature in San Francisco in the summer is 66 to 68°F with an average low of 53 to 55°F. The mean maximum is 83 to 86°F. San Francisco summer weather is pleasantly warm but not usually hot. You’ll have damp, foggy mornings and cool sea winds. The thick fog may cover the city until the afternoon when the cool wind starts to blow in.

Among major cities in the U.S., San Francisco has the coolest daily minimum, maximum, and mean temperatures from June through August.
During the summer, you’ll enjoy events like the North Beach Festival, San Francisco Pride, and the San Francisco Marathon.

Fall

Fall starts in San Francisco in September. Fall is the best time to visit San Francisco for a surprising reason: San Francisco fall weather is often warmer than summer weather! San Franciscans look forward to autumn the most for its predictable, warm weather but tourists haven’t really caught on so there are still fewer crowds than you’ll see in the summer.

The average temperature in the autumn is in the low 70s with consistent sun and less fog than the summer. You’ll enjoy clear, crisp nights and sunny, warm days with a lower chance of fog or rain than summer or winter.

 

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Winter

What is San Francisco winter weather like? Wet and chilly, but mild. About 80% of San Francisco rain falls between November and March with the most rain during the winter months. How cold does it get in San Francisco? It’s rare to experience very cold days with an average low winter temperature of 46°F. The high average winter temperature in San Francisco is 57°F to 60°F, but the mean maximum is 66°F to 72°F.

Does it snow in San Francisco? On rare occasions, it does! The last impressive snowfall in San Francisco was 1976 with 5” falling on the city.

Definitely make sure you have a jacket, scarf, and perhaps a beanie and gloves during winter in SF.

San Francisco Weather – Monthly

January

January is the coldest month in San Francisco with an average low of 46°F and an average high of 57°F. It’s also a rainy month with 8 average rainy days.

February

February is the end of winter in San Francisco. The weather in February is mild with an average temperature of 46°F to 58°F and about 7 rainy days on average.

March

March marks the beginning of spring. Early San Francisco spring weather in February is still rainy with 7 average rainy days during the month but a high of 63°F and a low of 50°F.

April

By April, the rainy season is coming to an end. There are only 3 rainy days on average with an average high of 66°F and an average low of 51°F.

May

The San Francisco climate during May is typically pleasant with little rain and an average temperature of 53°F to 68°F. Carnaval San Francisco is one of the city’s top parades and festivals and it’s held every year in May!

 

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June

During June, you’ll enjoy pleasant, warm temperatures with little or no rain. The average high is 71°F with a low of 55°F.

July

During July, the average high is 72°F with an average low of 57°F. There is little or no rain in July.

August

August in San Francisco is very similar to July with the same average highs and lows.

September

September is the hottest month in San Francisco and the first month of autumn. There is little rain with an average high of 74°F and an average low of 58°F.

October

It begins to rain a bit more in October, the middle of autumn. The average high is 71°F with two rainy days on average. One of the most anticipated events in October is the annual Outside Lands art and music festival at Golden Gate Park.

 

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November

The San Francisco rainy season begins in November, but it doesn’t reach peak precipitation until the middle of winter. November is the end of autumn in San Francisco with an average temperature between 50°F and 62°F.

December

December marks the beginning of winter in San Francisco and it’s the wettest month with more than 4” of rain and 7 rainy days on average. The average low is 46°F and the average high in December is 58°F.

San Francisco Climate Statistics

  • Number of sunny days in San Francisco: 259
  • Annual rainfall in San Francisco: 24.6” (record low of 5.59” in 2013, a La Niña year)
  • Annual snowfall in San Francisco: 0”
  • Coldest month: January is the coldest month in San Francisco with an average overnight temperature of 46.4°F.
  • Hottest month: September is the hottest month in San Francisco with an average high of 71°F.
  • Wettest month: December is the wettest month in San Francisco with 4.1” of rain on average. Grab your raincoat and umbrella!
  • Most humid month: August is the most humid month in San Francisco with an average humidity of 69.3%.
  • San Francisco record high temperature: 106°F on September 1, 2017
  • San Francisco record low temperature: 27 °F on December 11, 1932

Extreme Weather in San Francisco – Fog, Drought, Wildfires & Earthquakes

What type of weather extremes will you experience in San Francisco? In addition to some common California weather extremes like drought, you’ll also experience the famous San Francisco fog. Of course, San Fran residents also live under the threat of natural disaster in the form of earthquakes.

Drought is a major concern in California, and not just in Southern California and the desert regions. In early 2021, more than 50% of California was in a severe drought and 31% was in an extreme drought. This included the Bay Area. By February 2021, San Francisco precipitation was down 59% year-over-year. This latest drought comes just years after a 5-year dry spell. The entire West has been gripped by a “megadrought” since 1999 with only a few years of above-average rainfall. With drought comes not only water rationing but wildfires.

In one month of 2020 alone, two Bay Area megafires were started by an uncommon siege of lightning. They were the third and fourth largest wildfires of all time in California. While wildfires don’t typically threaten San Francisco itself, they lead to extremely bad air quality. In 2020, the Bay Area had more than 30 consecutive Spare the Air days which are declared when the air quality index is over 100. The San Francisco Chronicle maintains an interactive map of wildfires in the Bay Area and the rest of the state.

Extreme heat in San Francisco is uncommon, but heat waves can be deadly. There was also a deadly heat wave in the Bay Area in 2017 that caused an all-time heat record of 106 degrees in downtown San Francisco. The extreme heat killed 14 people.

The biggest threat hanging over San Francisco? Earthquakes. The Bay Area is transected by several fault lines including the infamous San Andreas Fault and six other major fault zones. The 7.9 magnitude Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake destroyed 80% of the city and killed 3,000 people. According to the USGS, within the next 30 years, there is a 72% probability of the Bay Area suffering a 6.7 magnitude earthquake and a 20% chance of a magnitude 7.5 quake.

On a lighter note, the most common type of extreme weather in San Francisco is fog. Common along the coastline of California, the Bay Area experiences normal fog in the summer as well as tule fog in the winter. San Francisco fog is the reason the Golden Gate bridge is painted “International Orange:” it’s most visible through the fog.

Best Time to Visit San Francisco

The best time to visit San Francisco is in the fall between September and November. Fall brings the warmest temperatures in San Francisco with fewer crowds, less fog, and less rain which begins to pick up in December. You can also visit between May and June to avoid the peak tourist season and enjoy crisp, mild late spring/early summer weather.

Ready to enjoy mild year-round temperatures and a classic coastal California climate in San Francisco? If you’re ready to embrace the fog and rainy winters, AMS Relocation is here to help! The San Francisco movers at our fourth-generation, family-owned Bay Area moving company will help you settle into your new home in the city without the stress and hassle.