Question for San Francisco Natives

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 03, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
    Hey guys, I'm heading out to San Francisco for the summer June 15 - August 31. I've been hearing so many different things about the weather (I'm trying to figure out what to pack). I'll be living in the north part of Soma and commuting to a job on the nob hill - pac heights border. Some people have said to bring winter coats, I can't rationalize this as I've heard it doesn't really go below 45 degrees there at any point in the year (there are rare occasions of course). Can anyone fill me in on what these months are actually like??
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jun 03, 2013 10:24 PM GMT
    Winter coats is a bit excessive - a light jacket will do. You have to have clothes for both very hot and very cool weather. Although usually cold in the summer, the temperature in San Francisco is quite variable in the summer. It is usually quite cold and windy (often 55-60 degrees), but this weather sometimes alternates with several day periods of hot weather (90-95 degrees) with no wind. When it is 60 degrees in the city, it is often 90 degrees 10 miles away. SOMA should be very slightly warmer, and slightly less windy than western areas of the city.

    Assuming you're not all work and no play, if it should be warm, there is a clothing optional beach in the Presidio area (Baker Beach). You are also coming during the annual gay film festival at the Castro theater (the largest in the world) June 20-30.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 03, 2013 10:33 PM GMT
    Thanks! I think I know what I need now, 2 suitcases! Lol

    Ha, well don't think I'll be hitting a nude beach anytime soon, but the film festival sounds cool. I didn't know about that, I just knew that pride took place the same time as here in nyc.
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    Jun 03, 2013 11:59 PM GMT
    Never been to San Fran, but I have a bad habit of packing just what I need for a couple days, going by the weather forecast, then buying new clothes as needed for the conditions (and sometimes a new bag or suitcase for the clothes) when I travel.

    It's a little more expensive that way, but it takes the stress out of trying to figure out a climate your'e unfamiliar with.
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    Jun 04, 2013 2:08 AM GMT
    In the early evenings the fog rolls in and it can get windy. So you'll want something that's warm and blocks the wind. Think layering.
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    Jun 04, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    What people said are right. Layering is key, BUT it also depends on the area you live in as well. I lived in the Inner Richmond (near Ocean Beach) and that part of SF would be hit by fog all the time, but take the bus downtown and it would be nice and sunny. A light waterproof + wind-resistant jacket will do, nothing to heavy.

    Don't forget to hit up the Mission District. Every time people visit SF I would always say get ice cream at Birite and walk up Dolores Park next door and admire the view. Have fun!
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    Jun 04, 2013 5:33 AM GMT
    The secret of SF is that the weather is actually incredibly beautiful 9 months out of the year. People just like to whine. Summer temps of 70 will be about right in anyplace that you'd actually want to go (i.e. not the Richmond or Sunset). Bring a light jacket and you'll be fine.
  • wesv

    Posts: 907

    Jun 04, 2013 3:50 PM GMT
    Just bring a light jacket. You'll also need to wear that during the day too. It's different from SoCal.
  • ivymassivenyc

    Posts: 4

    Jun 04, 2013 6:19 PM GMT
    Don't forget to visit Academy of Sciences. San Fran has micro climates. Depends on the region you are. it can get foggy in the summer
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    Jun 04, 2013 6:39 PM GMT
    I went to San Fran in January and the whole time it was sunny and about 70ish and above, but it got kind of chilly at night. I wore a coat, but you know how gay guys can be. It'll be 0 degrees with a windchill of -10 and we'll go to a bar wearing a tank top or t-shirt.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14295

    Jun 04, 2013 7:08 PM GMT
    CFL_Oakland saidThe secret of SF is that the weather is actually incredibly beautiful 9 months out of the year. People just like to whine. Summer temps of 70 will be about right in anyplace that you'd actually want to go (i.e. not the Richmond or Sunset). Bring a light jacket and you'll be fine.
    It sounds like San Francisco and the Bay Area in general has a very comfortable, pleasant climate.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Jun 04, 2013 7:11 PM GMT
    grab some sunscreen for your daypack.
    I always end up with a burn :-(
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 04, 2013 7:59 PM GMT
    I live in the Bay Area, and have worked Downtown - pretty much sound advise already, we have microclimates, so in you area, you should be good with a good sweater or jacket, since you can get in BART and head out to the East Bay or even the Peninsula and the weather changes drastically Sunny and warm in one area were your peeling off layers. Have fun:icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 04, 2013 8:06 PM GMT
    sean_ny81 saidHey guys, I'm heading out to San Francisco for the summer June 15 - August 31. I've been hearing so many different things about the weather (I'm trying to figure out what to pack). I'll be living in the north part of Soma and commuting to a job on the nob hill - pac heights border. Some people have said to bring winter coats, I can't rationalize this as I've heard it doesn't really go below 45 degrees there at any point in the year (there are rare occasions of course). Can anyone fill me in on what these months are actually like??



    Well 48 F is pretty cold with the wind and fog. I sometimes think
    that the layered look was invented here because there is nothing that can be called standard predictable weather. A typical day in July can be 48-80 sometimes in the same day .
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Jun 04, 2013 11:26 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    CFL_Oakland saidThe secret of SF is that the weather is actually incredibly beautiful 9 months out of the year. People just like to whine. Summer temps of 70 will be about right in anyplace that you'd actually want to go (i.e. not the Richmond or Sunset). Bring a light jacket and you'll be fine.
    It sounds like San Francisco and the Bay Area in general has a very comfortable, pleasant climate.

    Generally so, if you can take the constant cold temps. You can always travel a few miles to a warmer spot. I think CFL is in part basing his view on the climate in Oakland, which is mostly warmer in the summer. In San Francisco it is very rarely in the 70's (which I think would be ideal). Normal high temperatures are in the mid to high 60's. If a day gets warmer than that, it almost never stops in the 70's, but gets into the mid to high 80's and above - up into the nineties. That is because the cold wind and fog generally keeps SF in the 60's, and it is only when the wind and fog suddenly stop, that SF gets into the temps of the surrounding area, which are generally in the 80's and above in the summer. For example, for the last few days the high temperature has been in the low 60's, and the wind has almost never stopped. OTOH, winter is mild here - we haven't had a significant frost in SF for about 20 years.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 04, 2013 11:56 PM GMT
    Here is a neat aerial view of the fog rolling in enjoyicon_biggrin.gif


  • turtleneckjoc...

    Posts: 4685

    Jun 05, 2013 12:07 AM GMT
    I'm sure all of the suggestions are good ones, but for ANYTHING regarding San Francisco, I would turn to the most trusted source on here:

    GAMRican.

    He would never steer you wrong. One of the most trusted guys here.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Jun 05, 2013 12:37 AM GMT
    You always know who the tourists are because they're walking around town in shorts and a T-shirt, which is often fine during the day. But San Franciscans know to always bring a windbreaker or jacket with them. It can be sunny shorts and tank top weather during the day but by 5PM, especially during the summer, all that cold air from the ocean gets sucked in and it will drop 15-20 degrees rapidly.

    If you know you're going to be out and about anytime after the early evening, you should always carry a sweatshirt or light jacket with you.

    You do NOT need a winter coat. The heaviest coat I ever have to break out is a North Face jacket.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 05, 2013 1:09 PM GMT
    Thanks guys for all the help, appreciate it! I've only been to sf twice, but fell in love. Crazy weather or not, this is going to be an amazing experience.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2013 1:06 AM GMT
    Suetonius said
    roadbikeRob said
    CFL_Oakland saidThe secret of SF is that the weather is actually incredibly beautiful 9 months out of the year. People just like to whine. Summer temps of 70 will be about right in anyplace that you'd actually want to go (i.e. not the Richmond or Sunset). Bring a light jacket and you'll be fine.
    It sounds like San Francisco and the Bay Area in general has a very comfortable, pleasant climate.

    Generally so, if you can take the constant cold temps. You can always travel a few miles to a warmer spot. I think CFL is in part basing his view on the climate in Oakland, which is mostly warmer in the summer. In San Francisco it is very rarely in the 70's (which I think would be ideal). Normal high temperatures are in the mid to high 60's. If a day gets warmer than that, it almost never stops in the 70's, but gets into the mid to high 80's and above - up into the nineties. That is because the cold wind and fog generally keeps SF in the 60's, and it is only when the wind and fog suddenly stop, that SF gets into the temps of the surrounding area, which are generally in the 80's and above in the summer. For example, for the last few days the high temperature has been in the low 60's, and the wind has almost never stopped. OTOH, winter is mild here - we haven't had a significant frost in SF for about 20 years.


    No, people just whine...icon_razz.gif

    In the Mission during the month of May (not the warmest month by far, that's September), there were 9 days where the high temperature was 70 or above (and plenty more in the high 60s). So far in June we've already had two more. I think that's enough data points to refute the misconception that it's "very rarely" in the 70s.

    Also, it's usually sunny in the summer (except for the areas west of Diviz/Twin Peaks where most tourists don't go, save the Golden Gate Bridge, of course), and in the sun it always feels a few degrees warmer.

    Oakland is downright hot!

    My bias, of course, is that I dislike weather where I can't walk quickly or bike at a good speed without getting sweaty. That's 70 or above.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2013 1:26 PM GMT
    Dress in layers and hope to be pleasantly surprised. The weather between SoMa and Nob Hill can change continually.

    If you have light sweaters and such, these would be helpful to have. You can always buy some inexpensive clothes at Crossroads Trading if you find a need.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2013 1:29 PM GMT
    turtleneckjock saidI'm sure all of the suggestions are good ones, but for ANYTHING regarding San Francisco, I would turn to the most trusted source on here:

    GAMRican.

    He would never steer you wrong. One of the most trusted guys here.


    Thanks for the props!
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jun 06, 2013 9:57 PM GMT
    Strong winds blow, almost all day long, making it feel colder.
    SOMA (South of Market) tends to be a warmer area (60s to mid 70s)
    Nob Hill is colder.
    Market Street seems to always have a cold, whipping wind.
    The Castro is a warmer area (similar to SOMA weather)

    The best thing to do is to wear layers of clothing that you can add or remove, depending on the temperature, which can be anywhere from the 50s to the 70s. And, it's almost always very windy.
    A hooded sweatshirt is a must.

    There are almost no days where you'll be comfortable wearing shorts. And, forget about tank tops.

    BTW, I'm not complaining.
    I love this town.
    And, I love our weather.