San Francisco Weather Guide

With much to explore in the outdoors, San Francisco is best enjoyed in sunny weather. Luckily, the sun is a common occurrence with the city's climate, which is similar to that of the Mediterranean with wet and mild winters and dry summers. And that notorious fog? San Fran has the coldest average temps in the US in summer with cool winds and fog common, particularly in the Sunset District near Golden Gate Park.

Season and Clothing

Summer: June to August

Compared to the rest of the US West Coast, summers are quite cool in San Francisco. On average, it has the coldest daily temps of all the major US cities in summer as well as wind and fog. Towards the end of the summer and the beginning of autumn is when San Francisco experiences its warmest temperatures with little rain but lots of fog. The fog isn't great for sightseeing, but often passes quickly. Don't miss the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration held on the last Sunday in June between Embarcadero and Downtown plus plenty of other festivals happening in different districts of the city in summer.

Average temperatures: 11 - 20 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Jeans and light layers, comfy shoes for walking.
Don't forget: Your camera.

Autumn: September to November

Fall is when San Francisco is in transition. It's also the season when Halloween and Thanksgiving falls. At the beginning of the season is it noticeably warm and dry, then towards the end the rainy period begins with slightly cooler temperatures. It may sound a little schizophrenic but fall is considered to be the best time to visit San Fran, particularly in the surrounding wine region where the leaves are ablaze with colour. Just be prepared to dress for the elements. Even though Burning Man is held 400 miles away from San Francisco in the Nevada Desert, the festival originated in San Fran at Bakers Beach in 1986 and is considered part of Bay Area culture still.

Average temperatures: 12 - 17 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Jeans, tees, shirts, jumpers and a coat.
Don't forget: An umbrella and a camera plus an arty outfit if you are attending Burning Man.

Winter: December to February

Winter falls well and truly in San Francisco's rainy season. On the upside it rarely snows, with temperatures falling around a mild 7 and 8 degrees Celsius. By all means it's cold but not unbearable. Plus, you'll completely forget about the weather when watching the sunset - the most colourful ones take place in winter in San Fran. While the festive season is undoubtedly as big here as in other major US cities, the festivities extend to the Bay City's multicultural roots with celebrations for Chinese New Year and the Vietnamese Tet Festival just as massive, if not bigger!

Average temperatures: 10 - 14 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: A warm coat, scarf and clothes for layering.
Don't forget: An umbrella and your camera.

Spring: March to May

Falling at the end of the rainy season, spring still remains a beautiful time to visit San Francisco. Not only are the temperatures ideal for enjoying the outdoors but there are less crowds to deal with during this shoulder season too. With the perfect mix of San Fran hedonism and irrelevance, don't miss the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence Easter Celebrations in the Mission where gay male nuns get in the habit of presiding over all manner of sacrilegious competitions. If you visit in spring you'll also get to see the St Stupid's Day Parade through the Financial District on April 1, witness the glorious Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japan Center, and go loco at the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the Mission District.

Average temperatures: 9 - 18 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Light layers, jeans and a coat.
Don't forget: Walking shoes and your camera.