ARE YOU GOING
TO SAN FRANCISCO? If the answer is yes then you will need to check
the forecast before you leave.
San Francisco may be in California and we all know how wonderful
the weather in California can be. But do not get caught out.
The West Coast
climate is surprisingly cool. Or perhaps not so surprisingly when
one remembers that the waters of the Pacific are much colder than
the equivalent latitude across the Atlantic.
They are cold
enough even in May to spot whales migrating northwards to the colder
waters of the Arctic.
The warmest months are July, August and September. But even in the
height of summer average temperatures are no better than 21 Celsius
(73F), no more than 2 Celsius higher than, say, London.
of such cold seas means that even in summer a sunny start to the
morning is no guarantee for a fine day.
of the city are popular with tourists.
tends to draw cold air from the sea into the San Francisco Bay and
across much of the City.
This cold air is often accompanied by low cloud and it is not uncommon
for the Golden Gate Bridge to be covered in a shroud low cloud and
the subject of a strong, cold wind.
At the same
time, the downtown area can be warm and sunny. Of course the winds
do not always blow in off the sea.
Hot, dry winds blowing from the Mojave Desert or the San Juan Valley
can result in exceptionally high temperatures.
through until October temperatures in excess of 30 Celsius (86F)
have been recorded and a September record of 38 Celsius (101F) is
months can be somewhat extreme, the winters are characterised by
pretty mild conditions.
mid-winter temperatures rarely fall below 7 or 8 Celsius (43 to
46F). Freezing conditions are unusual and the lowest temperature
ever recorded in the City was only Minus 3 Celsius (27F).
With a high frequency of fog, sunshine is not as high as a latitude
of 37.5 degrees North would suggest. (San Francisco is on the same
latitude as the Algarve.)
is certainly higher than either Bristol or London, but rainfall
in summer and early autumn is extremely low.
Almost any time
of the year is a good time to visit San Francisco. Although December
and January are quite cool and wet, the rest of the year offers
the chance of some fine and sunny weather.
But if there was ever a destination for which checking the forecast
beforehand was advisable, San Francisco is that destination.