San Francisco, California Weather and Climate
General & Geographical Location
San Francisco is at the tip of the peninsula on the west coast of the United States. The city is almost in the center of the long coastline of the state of California. Located on opposite sides of the peninsula, San Fran Bay and the Pacific Ocean are prominent features of the city.
In addition, several islands are part of the urban area, including Treasure Island, Yerba Buena Island and the infamous Alcatraz. One of the most recognizable features of the city are the 43 rolling hills on which the city is built, as well as the beautiful Victorian houses and cable cars that characterize them.
The metropolis is considered the 13th most populous city in the United States and the fourth largest city in California. In 2007, the city population was 764,976, with the San Fran Bay Area consisting of more than 7.1 million people. The people of the city are amazingly diverse with extensive Asian-American and LGBT communities. The area of the city is approximately 121 square kilometers, with the interior of the city limits often referred to as “seven by seven miles square”.
San Francisco, which is both a city and a county, has one form of government. The mayor, who acts as general manager, is elected for four years, as are the eleven members of the city council.
Climate in San Francisco
California has a Mediterranean climate with mild, humid winters and dry summers. San Francisco is surrounded by water on three sides, which greatly affects its climate and makes it milder than neighboring California cities with little seasonal temperature fluctuations. The average summer temperatures are between 15 and 24 ° C and in winter between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius.
The city’s temperature will almost never drop below freezing. A common saying is that San Francisco has three seasons: winter, summer, and fog. The combination of cold sea water and the high heat of mainland California makes for misty conditions in spring and early summer. The eastern quarters are a little less foggy because of the hills that separate the ocean air from the mainland temperature. This side of San Francisco has an average of 260 clear days per year.
When is the best time to visit San Francisco?
The best time to visit San Francisco is from May through October. However, it should be noted that the good weather conditions in summer naturally also attract a large number of tourists (from abroad and within the country). Especially in July and August, San Francisco is often packed, it is the absolute peak season.
Between December and March the temperatures are often cool and rainfalls occur regularly, which is why winter is not a preferred time to travel to San Francisco. However, the peripheral months of April are popular and, with some reservations, November as well. Our editorial team recommends May and June as well as September and October as the absolute best travel months.
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine
|Daytime temperature||13 ° C||15 ° C||16 ° C||18 ° C||19 ° C||21 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||23 ° C||21 ° C||17 ° C||13 ° C|
|Night temperature||5 ° C||7 ° C||8 ° C||8 ° C||10 ° C||11 ° C||12 ° C||13 ° C||13 ° C||11 ° C||8 ° C||6 ° C|
|Water temperature||11 ° C||11 ° C||12 ° C||12 ° C||13 ° C||14 ° C||15 ° C||15 ° C||16 ° C||15 ° C||13 ° C||11 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||111||81||78||35||5||3||1||1||5||31||73||79|
|Hours of sunshine||6||7||9||10||11||11||10||9||9||8||6||5|
The annual average temperature is 13.9 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is September (18 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 9.3 ° C. The maximum water temperature is 16 ° C. That is hardly suitable for swimming.
The annual precipitation is 503 mm on 67 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. There is no rainy season, i.e. months with more than 175 mm of precipitation. Snowfall is generally not expected in any month.
As our climate table shows, June is the sunniest month with an average of 10.8 hours of sunshine per day. The average annual sunshine is 8.4 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
The following major towns are nearby and have similar climates: Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, Concord, Berkeley, Vallejo, Richmond, and Daly City.
Sights & attractions
The big city contains so many interesting attractions in such a small area that visitors can find something unique on almost every street. Most attractions are within walking or a short drive away. The ride itself can be an attraction when taken on one of the city’s famous cable cars, the nation’s only moving historical landmarks, now restored and serving a 10-mile route in the heart of the city.
Perhaps the most unique features of San Francisco are its ethnic neighborhoods. The most famous is Chinatown, the largest Chinese neighborhood outside of Asia, a 24-block area filled with authentic bazaars, temples, restaurants, and distinctive oriental architecture. Golden Gate Park, west of downtown, consists of more than 1,000 acres of green space that was once a barren area of windswept sand dunes.
The park was created in 1846 and houses flower meadows, an arboretum and a botanical garden with more than 6,000 plant species and a 5 hectare Japanese tea garden. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area, one of the largest urban parks in the world and hosting more than 16 million visitors a year, is located on either side of the Golden Gate, the entrance to San Fran Bay. It includes breathtaking views of the cliffs from the bay, a network of hiking trails, valleys and beaches, and the Fort Point National Historic Site, a brick fort built in 1861. The Golden Gate Bridge connects the two sides of the park.
San Francisco weather in March, April, and May
Average daily temperatures between 16 ° C and 19 ° C can be expected over the next three months. In San Francisco it gets warmest in May, but March is a little cooler.
Do you want to go on a beach holiday? The water temperatures are in March, April and May 12-13 ° C. So the weather is hardly suitable for swimming.
The expected rainfall is around 10 days in March, around 6 days in April and around 4 days in May.
In the period from March to May , the sun shines on average between 9 and 11 hours a day. The sunniest weather is in May in San Francisco, but with less sun you have to get by in March.