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Weather in Northern California

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Apr 17th, 2011, 06:03 PM
  #1
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Weather in Northern California

Thinking of a trip from San Francisco or Sacramento to Crescent City early to mid-September. Would probably do the coastal route one way and head through the Trinity Mountains/Mt Shasta/Lassen on the other.

Wondering what type of weather to expect. Hoping the coast and mountains may be cooler by then. Thinking the area from Redding to SF may still be quite hot. Need some local advice.
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Apr 17th, 2011, 06:48 PM
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Yes, the coast will probably be cool (coastal fog, can get chilly, definitely bring jackets, jeans, etc.) and inland will be quite warm - possibly near or exceeding 100 degrees!
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Apr 17th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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Glad to see that you thought of Sacramento as a place to fly to.
I have vowed never to rent a car at SFO ever again.
Sacramento rarely has high temps over 90 after Sept. 1.
The mountains are always cooler than Redding.
Are you a solo traveler? Would you consider taking an Amtrak train to Sacramento?
I like the easy access to I-5 and I-80 from the Sacramento airport.
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Apr 17th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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"the coast will probably be cool (coastal fog, can get chilly, "

Well, September is the nicest/warmest/least foggy month along the coast. Of course it is coastal so can be cool any time - but Sept is the very best time to visit

"Sacramento rarely has high temps over 90 after Sept. 1."

Simply not true. The 'average' Sept. high temp here in Sac is 89F and MANY days are well over 90 or even 100F, especially early in the month. When it is 90+ here -- it is usually a few degrees hotter in Redding.

Forget the Amtrak option from SFO. It would require BART to Richmond, train to Sacramento and then a taxi to wherever you got your car. And it would be an EXPENSIVE cab ride from the Amtrak station to SMF. Justfly to either SMF or SFO (or OAK for that matter) and collect you rental car there. SMF would be the easiest but the others might get you better schedules or fares.
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Apr 17th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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I so agree with janisj's comment but we live quite close to each other. September can still be quite hot, a few years ago it remained at about 105 degrees for a good part of the month. And usually September is delightful along the coast. Of course there are microclimates and no two years are the same so one can not out guess the weather. Pack clothes that you can layer so you are comfortable regardless of what weather you encounter. And have a wonderful trip!
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Apr 18th, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Lassen is great in September. It gets some pretty deep snow in the wintertime, so a lot of years there is still a decent amount of left-over snow in the summer time at the higher elevations. By September though, most (maybe all) will have melted, but you won't have new snow yet.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Janisj does not know the secret to getting from the Sacramento Amtrak station to the Sacramento airport. I have never been in a Sacramento Taxi. 3 blocks from the Capitol building you get on a YOLO bus ($1.50/PP) and 22 minutes later you are at the airport. Since they moved the rental facility at the airport, you now have to take a short shuttle bus ride.
There are rental facilities east of the Capitol which open at 9AM. I got a ride out to the airport once with one of their employees. I will never rent a car from SFO again.
Enjoy the air conditioning in your rental car no matter what the temperature or humidity is.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 11:04 AM
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I certainly DO know about the Yolo bus (I used to work less than a block one of its stops). The Yolo bus 42B (the route one takes to SMF) only runs once an hour so of course you 'could' take it but more likely you'd have quite a wait.

Why add so many unnecessary steps and hassle?? That whole plan is less than sensible/convenient.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Thanks for the comments everyone.

If we fly into Sacramento, we would really just be doing that and then heading on to other places, so high temps in the city wouldn't bother us too much. I'll probably add another post asking for suggestions of where to stay in the mountains.

I'm sure the coast will be cool and hopefully even the mountains will be, too.

Tom, do you want to briefly explain your problem with renting a car in San Franciso? Using miles for our flights, we seem to be getting better flights into SFO.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 05:04 PM
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Many years ago-first flight to SFO on TWA. Got the cheapest rental car available from airport. Geo Metro underpowered on hills in SF. Started to rain-wipers were horrible. Next day drove back to rental place at airport in an hour they replaced the wipers. I was planning on going north not back to the airport to fix a POS car. Every vehicle I've rented since has been better.
I come to CA to get some heat when it is below freezing in Oregon.
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Apr 18th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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Wow tom - you can certainly hold a grudge. This experience renting a car at SFO was from when TWA was still flying? And not a grudge against a particular rental company, but against all rentals out of SFO?
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Apr 18th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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TWA merged with AA in 2001 and the last Geo Metro was made in 1997. Has anything changed since then?

I agree it's hot in the central valley in Sept but other places, especially on the coast, are marvelous in Sept
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Apr 18th, 2011, 07:09 PM
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OK - so all these times you've recommended not renting cars in SF, it is based on a Geo Metro from last century??
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Apr 18th, 2011, 08:14 PM
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I am a lost for words. Because of an experience way back when you are advising Fodorites not to ever rent a vehicle at SFO, tom? Gee, one time our evening Delta flight was way late arriving at SFO and our rental car which we needed to get home was no longer available and the only vehicle available was a station wagon. My husband hated station wagons. But I don't remember either of us never ever again renting a vehicle at SFO or never ever flying Delta. Stuff happens when traveling as most of us know.
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