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San Francisco Weather Averages

twin peaks san francisco
When you plan a trip to San Francisco, you'll need to get an idea what the typical weather is like for the month that you visit. It's especially important as there are a wide range of temperatures by month and even during the day different areas of city can vary widely in climate. Packing the right clothing for the weather can make a big impact on your trip, and San Francisco isn’t the city to make it easy on you. The weather varies greatly from month to month and hour to hour. Even the neighborhood you’re in makes a difference. For many visitors, the San Francisco weather can be counter-intuitive. Against all logic, the summer is winter and the winter is summer here. Around the time football season starts you’ll find less fog and harsh wind in the morning and more sunny, warmer days, making the autumn and winter the best seasons to make the trip. We’ve shared the most relevant tips that can save you from buying an extra sweater when you thought summer meant sunshine and short sleeves!

Month Avg High Temp Avg Low Temp Avg Rain (inches)
January 57 46 5
February 60 48 3
March 61 49 3
April 63 50 1
May 64 51 1
June 66 53 0
July 66 54 0
August 67 55 0
September 70 56 0
October 69 55 1
November 64 51 3
December 57 47 4

But even on nice days the steep hills can change the weather pretty drastically after just a few blocks. In fact, some hills can be quite windy all year round while at the bottom it can get pretty warm. So the best thing to do is to pack layers: tank tops, shirts, sweaters, shorts, a warm jacket, and pants. Not only should you pack layers but also wear them. In one neighborhood you can wear a t-shirt, but in another you may need a sweatshirt, so make sure you wear both, even if seems warm out. You’ll find lots of people, both tourists and locals, donning a t-shirt with a jacket or sweater wrapped around their waist or shoulders.

Once in a while there are few heat waves, but these only happen a few times a year. On these strange occasions everywhere is t-shirt and flip-flop weather. But don’t let this fool you. Once the evening fog rolls in you’ll be wishing for your sweatshirt and sneakers again, so always be prepared.

Speaking of sneakers, you should bring a comfortable pair with lots of support. Your calves will have never experienced hills so steep they have stairs and without proper shoes you could end up with sore calves and shin splints. Once you brave the hills, San Francisco is a lovely city for long walks, so you’ll probably find yourself doing a lot of it when you go from neighborhood to neighborhoods to see the sights.

Want to make money in San Francisco? Just sell sweatshirts at any tourist attraction. This sure isn't Hawaii and the weather can vary by neighborhood and time of day quite drastically. You will probably want to bring a light jacket almost anywhere you go. You're much more likely to be too cool than too hot. The coastal breezes really keep the city nice, but it's rarely too hot. Here is a chart to help plan your trip of average temperatures - both minimum and maximum, and rainfall.

If you're looking for warm, sunny weather, the fall months are actually your best bet. Just ask the ghost of Mark Twain. Check out our data below - it averages out the last 50 years!

By: Jesse Whitman, Copyright sfTravel LLC

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