Does it Snow in Francisco?

Golden Gate bridge during daytime

Yes, it does snow in San Francisco. However, because of how rarely it occurs, it’s more comforting for many to conclude that it doesn’t snow in San Francisco.

If you’re looking forward to visiting, living, or working in San Francisco, this short article should tell you all you need to know about the weather.

Sounds good? Let’s discuss.

Why Does San Francisco Rarely Experience Snow

I’d say it’s a function of the kind of climate that exists there. Since San Francisco is close to the Pacific Ocean, any moisture that comes in contact with Northern California is thoroughly warmed by the Pacific Ocean before hitting the land.

On the contrary, snow needs real moisture and low temperatures for its formation. Hence, when there’s little moisture trapped in the air, snow cannot form. That said, San Francisco enjoys Mediterranean weather – hot summers, wet winters, and all-year-round predictable weather.

Mediterranean weather experiences climate degrees between latitudes of 30° and 45° on the north and south of the equator.

Mediterranean weather also means that temperatures don’t change much in between seasons. This makes it easily predictable. San Francisco is very famous for its custom fog that combines cold air and the California Peninsula heat.

You’ll be shocked to know that San Francisco experienced its real snowstorm in 1976, and there were only about 5 inches of snow in the city! In 2011, another snowfall was said to have been reported just before midnight on February 25. This rarity occurring in a space of 35 years was the catch for all news stations. 

In the summer, you’ll notice the temperature rise, but not too much — say between 10 and 21 degrees centigrade. Hence, light, warm clothing will do. You may need even warmer clothes at night when the temperature drops.

People call San Francisco the city with a natural air conditioner. That’s because San Francisco experiences a lot of fog — both in the summer and winter.

Just to keep you in the know, the fog can come strongly on a bright summer afternoon. Instead of getting caught off guard, go outside prepared (especially when you get cold easily).

In the winter, the rain is very heavy; nobody in San Francisco likes that (except farmers, definitely). The Winter season is strongest from November to December.

Snow is very rare in the winter season. You’ll only notice light dustings occasionally at the peak of some amounts. Autumn is the most preferred season in San Francisco — no rain, less fog.

Final Thoughts

San Francisco has temperate weather, and its predictability makes its residents love the city. If anything, you’re sure to enjoy San Francisco, whether it snows much or not. Except you’re “snow-blooded” of course 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions About San Francisco 

When is the best time to visit San Francisco?

It’s best to visit when the weather is the warmest — summer, that is. However, some say that autumn is the best time to visit because it’s the most dependable time (especially when avoiding fog and rain). San Francisco summer runs from May to September. Autumn takes over between September and October. This is a long period for families to catch all the vacation fun they can. 

What is San Francisco best known for?

It’s hard to say what this great city is “best” known for. How about we talk about the things San Francisco is famous for? Then you can pick which one stands out as best for you. Here’s a list

What attracts people to San Francisco?

Many things, I’d say. First, the top city attractions like the Golden State Bridge, Alcatraz Island, De Young Museum, and the likes are major attractions. Others include 

Is San Francisco the coldest city?

In California? Not at all. Bodie State Park is the coldest town in California. It’s also called the ghost town for this reason. While San Francisco has its own fair share of cold, it’s nothing in comparison with Bodie State Park.

Which US state is the coldest?

Alaska is the United States’ coldest city. Its average temperature is -2.7 degrees centigrade and can go as low as -34 degrees centigrade. According to the World Population Review, the ten coldest cities in the US are

  • Alaska
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Maine
  • Wyoming 
  • Montana 
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • Idaho 
  • New Hampshire