Best Time to go to San Francisco

Old Sep 1st, 2010, 05:42 PM
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Best Time to go to San Francisco

The last couple of times we were in San Francisco, it was cold and foggy in the morning, warmed up a bit during the day and then dropped again at night. It was in the 30's and 40's in the morning which is typical for August. We encountered the same type of weather in May also.

Is it warmer in June or July? Or is it about the same?

I would love to go in Sept./October but we are limited to the school vacation period this time around.

Thanks in advance for letting us know and whether there is any difference really between June, July or August.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:33 PM
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It may be cold in San Francisco, but it's not that cold. The record low in San Francisco for August of any year was 48 ° in 1969. Record lows have been in the low 30s only in December, January and February. And again, that's RECORD lows, not average lows, and it includes all times of day, including the middle of the night.

Our nicest months are usually September and early October. Late April and May are usually almost as nice.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 06:53 PM
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30 degrees in San Francisco in August? Sorry but that can't be correct!
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:00 PM
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Maybe it was not that cold in the 40's but it sure did vary a lot during the day. I remember we started out early and drove to Lake Tahoe which is in a higher elevation and in the morning we were cold up there. I had packed sweatshirts and jackets and we were wearing them. We wore them in the mornings in San Francisco also. The locals looked like they had on windbreakers too. Only the tourists were wearing shorts and freezing. Luckily I packed long pants. During the day it warmed up into the 60's and 70's which is typical and then it dropped down again at night so you needed layers to shed throughout the day. And if it wasn't 40 it sure felt like it with the fog in the morning and at night. Maybe it was the swing of 50's in the morning then 70's in the afternoon only to drop again at night all in one day that I remember the feeling the difference in temperatures.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:05 PM
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Temperature:
Mean Temperature 62 °F
Max Temperature 81 °F
Min Temperature 44 °F


Ah! The attached is from weather underground which shows historical weather. August 20, 1987 which is when we were there at Lake Tahoe the low temperature was 44 and the high was 81 so there was a big swing in one day. Granted it was not San Francisco proper but rather Lake Tahoe. Even so we also experienced the variation in San Francisco too but probably not such an extreme.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:07 PM
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Well OK that's more like it. If you're up at altitude or it's a foggy morning MAYBE it could be in the high 50's in the early morning, later getting up to the 70's or 80's as the day goes on in August.

I agree it can feel cool in San Francisco, pretty much any month, and it it a city where the weather changes from one block to the next! ...but it's not 30F in August
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:10 PM
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Lake Tahoe is *6225* feet above sea level! Places at high altitudes are always cooler, no surprise there.

Back to the original question, it most likely gets warmer as the summer progresses. So August being the hottest, June the coolest, July in the middle.

September and October are BEAUTIFUL months but they are going to be continuing to get cooler as the fall comes along.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:12 PM
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I agree I should not have written 30 or 40 without checking what the actual was at that time of year. I know what it felt like though

Anyway, is it the same in June and July too with the same type of variation throughout the day? Is any one month better temperature wise? Or should we just expect the typical cold foggy morning, the warm up later in the afternoon and then the drop back down at night.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:14 PM
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Suze, we posted at the same time. Thanks for the reply. I will have more questions later.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 07:38 PM
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It is always cooler in the morning, warmer in the afternoon, and the temperature immediately drops when the sun goes down. That's true in all of California -- we don't have warm summer evenings like New York or DC.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 09:05 PM
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Well that is not true of all of California. I live in the Sacramento Valley and right now which is almost 10:00PM it is 82 degrees but it will get cooler during the night.

San Francisco as all areas have micro climates. North Beach is usually the sunniest and warmest in SF. Market St., can get so cold and windy as can the Financial District and the Outer Richmond District will usually have fog and so forth. The weather in Lake Tahoe has nothing to do with the weather in SF anymore than the SF weather has to do say with the weather in the Sacramento/Central Valley.

So, europeannoive, if you are going to be in CA next June or July just pack so that you can layer your clothes.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 09:12 PM
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June/July are among the worst months for weather in SF. Very VERY best normally is Sept/Oct. That is when SF has its most 'summer-like' weather.

When the rest of the state is having hot summer weather (June/July/August) the heat inversion causes the fog and cold to stick along the coast.

So if you want reliably warm/sunny days -- go to SF in the Fall.
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Old Sep 1st, 2010, 09:24 PM
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It is almost 80 degrees right now in San Jose. I wish it cooled down at night!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 03:20 AM
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August really isn’t a very uncomfortable month though Sept’ and Oct’ are really the best IMO.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 05:56 AM
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Thanks everyone. Our hotel in San Francisco that year we also went to Lake Tahoe was near Market street so maybe that is why I felt so cold in the morning even in San Francisco (as well as Lake Tahoe which is a much higher elevation). The other time we stayed near Union Square and although it was cool in the morning in May, it was not as cold as the year we were there in August.

Janisj,
So nice to hear from you again You were so immensely helpful in my Europe planning so I look forward to your comments (as well as others of course) in planning this trip. This time sans MIL.

The dilemma is that we have to work around school holidays so the fall is out. Either June, July or August is it. From the posts August is actually better than June/July for San Francisco but as far as Yosemite--the waterfalls might be all dried up in August and you have a better chance of seeing them in June/July, correct?
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 06:15 AM
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I had a friend who drowned crossing a river with an average depth of 4 feet.

Averages in June, July, and Aug don't mean much in San Francisco. This year we are defying all averages. Many people near the coast (west of Twin Peaks) have seen very litle sun & lots of fog this summer. Yesterday and today are scorchers - lots of sun & heat - in the mid 80s for a high in SF. About 1 1/2 weeks ago we had another two days of scorching heat - I think it reached 91 in SF. However, between 1 1/2 weeks ago and yesterday, it was 10-15 degrees below "average" for the highs - in the high 50s & maybe 60 for a high. How can you plan around that???

If you like "averages" I think your best chance is as early in June as you can get here. Early August would probably be the worst time.

Stu Dudley
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 07:17 AM
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I'd pick August of those months you have open. If you want to be warmer just take BART out to Walnut Creek. Seems it's always at least 10+ degrees warmer over that direction!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 07:35 AM
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I was in San Francisco 1 1/2 weeks ago when you had the extreme warm weather. It was definitely sweatshirt, light coat weather when we arrived and continued for the first 3 days....then turned scorching. We had checked many different weather sites for the 6 days we would be there and they all said highs would be in the 50's and 60's. But thank goodness we had stuck some shorts and sandals in the suitcase. We stayed in a little boutique hotel in Union Square East that did not have air conditioning so we had some miserable nights. But we left hot humid weather in Illinois..so we did OK and I will never complain. Loved San Francisco....cool or hot!!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Hi europeannovice: W/ Yosemite in the mix I'd choose June. August is VERY crowded in YNP. It is semi crowded lots of the year, but July/August are the busiest.

The water falls should still be good in June but there is no guarantee -- depends on the winter/spring conditions. This year they were great.

But June give you the issue of June Gloom on the coast

Another option - could you go during Spring Break? The Spring is usually wonderful in SF and AMAZING in Yosemite.

(Didn't someone in your family son maybe (?) - get sick on your trip? How is he? )
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Old Sep 2nd, 2010, 09:20 AM
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I wouldn't try to get "good" weather in SF. It is generally a chilly, foggy sort of place. The fog is part of its charm. Just wear a jacket.

I'd choose the timing of the trip based on other places that you will be going - like Yosemite. June for sure to see the waterfalls.
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