A Guide To San Francisco’S Rainy Season: What To Expect And How To Prepare

San Francisco is known for its foggy summers, but the real wet weather comes during the rainy season that spans fall through early spring.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: San Francisco’s rainy season typically runs from November through April, with the heaviest rainfall occurring December-February. Total annual rainfall averages 22 inches.

When is San Francisco’s Rainy Season?

San Francisco’s rainy season typically occurs from November to April. During these months, the city experiences a higher amount of rainfall compared to the rest of the year. It is important for residents and visitors alike to be prepared for the wet weather and understand what to expect during this time.

Heaviest Rainfall in December-February

The heaviest rainfall in San Francisco’s rainy season usually occurs during the months of December to February. These months tend to see the most precipitation, with an average of X inches of rain per month.

It’s not uncommon for San Francisco to experience powerful storms and heavy downpours during this time.

During the rainy season, it is important to be aware of potential flooding and the impact it may have on transportation and daily activities. The city’s infrastructure is designed to handle rain, but it is always a good idea to stay informed about any weather-related updates or alerts.

Pro tip: Make sure to keep an umbrella, raincoat, and waterproof shoes handy during this time of the year. It’s also a good idea to check the forecast and plan your outdoor activities accordingly. Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits – embrace the cozy atmosphere and enjoy the city’s many indoor attractions!

How Much Rainfall Does San Francisco Get?

San Francisco is known for its mild climate, but it does experience a rainy season. On average, the city receives about 22 inches of rainfall annually. This may not seem like a lot compared to other cities, but it is important to note that the rain in San Francisco is concentrated in the winter months.

Annual Average is 22 Inches

According to statistics, San Francisco receives an average of 22 inches of rainfall each year. This means that residents and visitors can expect a decent amount of rain during the rainy season. It is important to be prepared for wet weather by having the right clothing and gear, such as waterproof jackets and umbrellas.

December is the Wettest Month

While the rainy season in San Francisco typically starts in November and lasts through April, December is considered to be the wettest month. During this time, it is not uncommon for the city to experience heavy rainfall and strong winds.

It is advisable to stay updated on weather forecasts and be cautious when venturing outdoors during this month.

For more detailed information on San Francisco’s rainfall patterns, you can visit the weather.com website. This resource provides historical data and forecasts to help you better prepare for the rainy season in San Francisco.

What is the Weather Like During the Rainy Season?

The rainy season in San Francisco typically occurs between November and March, with the heaviest rainfall usually happening in December and January. During this time, the weather in the city can be quite different from the rest of the year. Here’s what you can expect:

Daily Highs in the 50s-60s°F

During the rainy season, temperatures in San Francisco tend to be relatively mild, with daily highs ranging from the 50s to the 60s°F. It’s important to note that the fog and rain can make it feel cooler than it actually is, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers and bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella.

Frequent Rain Showers

As the name suggests, the rainy season is characterized by frequent rain showers. These showers can vary in intensity, from light drizzles to more substantial rainfall. It’s not uncommon for San Francisco to experience several days of rain in a row during this time.

It’s always a good idea to carry an umbrella or raincoat with you when venturing out.

Occasional Heavy Downpours

While the majority of rain showers during the rainy season are relatively mild, there can also be occasional heavy downpours. These downpours can result in temporary flooding and increased risk of mudslides in certain areas.

It’s important to stay informed about any weather alerts or warnings issued by local authorities during these times.

It’s worth noting that even during the rainy season, San Francisco still sees plenty of sunny days. It’s not uncommon for the sun to make an appearance between rain showers, so it’s a good idea to enjoy the breaks in the weather when they happen.

For more information on San Francisco’s weather patterns and forecasts during the rainy season, you can visit the Weather Channel or AccuWeather websites.

How to Prepare for the Rainy Season

Pack Rain Gear and Layers

When preparing for San Francisco’s rainy season, it’s crucial to pack the right gear to stay dry and comfortable. Be sure to pack a sturdy, waterproof jacket or raincoat, along with waterproof pants and boots. Layering is also key, as the weather can change quickly.

Bring sweaters or fleeces that you can easily add or remove as needed. Don’t forget an umbrella or a waterproof hat to protect yourself from the rain. By being prepared with the right gear, you can embrace the wet weather and still enjoy exploring the city.

Check Weather Reports Frequently

Staying updated with the latest weather reports is essential during San Francisco’s rainy season. The city is known for its microclimates, so the weather can vary significantly from one neighborhood to another.

Make it a habit to check the weather forecast before heading out for the day, as it will help you plan your activities accordingly. You can use reliable weather websites like www.weather.com or download a weather app on your smartphone for convenience.

By staying informed, you can adjust your plans and make the most of your time in the city, rain or shine.

Have Indoor Activities Planned

While San Francisco has plenty of outdoor attractions, it’s always a good idea to have some indoor activities planned in case the rain becomes too heavy. Visit the city’s world-class museums, such as the de Young Museum or the Exploratorium, where you can spend hours exploring fascinating exhibits.

Alternatively, you can catch a show at one of the many theaters or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the city’s renowned restaurants. Having indoor activities planned ensures that you can still make the most of your time in San Francisco, even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Benefits and Things to Enjoy in the Rainy Season

While the rainy season in San Francisco may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly has its own unique charm and offers several benefits that make it worth embracing. Here are some of the things you can enjoy during this rainy time of the year:

Greener Hills and Blooming Flowers

One of the most remarkable transformations that the rainy season brings to San Francisco is the lush greenery that blankets the hills and the stunning sight of vibrant flowers in full bloom. The combination of rain and mild temperatures creates the perfect conditions for nature to flourish, turning the city into a picturesque landscape.

Don’t forget to bring your camera along to capture the breathtaking views!

Smaller Crowds

Another advantage of visiting San Francisco during the rainy season is the smaller crowds. While the city is always bustling with tourists and locals, the rainy weather tends to deter some visitors, resulting in shorter lines and less crowded attractions.

This means you can explore popular sites like the Golden Gate Bridge or Fisherman’s Wharf without the usual hustle and bustle, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experience.

Cozy Indoor Activities

When the rain starts pouring, it’s the perfect excuse to indulge in some cozy indoor activities. San Francisco offers a myriad of options to keep you entertained, rain or shine. You can spend the day exploring the fascinating exhibits at the de Young Museum or the Exploratorium.

Alternatively, you can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate at one of the city’s charming cafes, or catch a movie at the historic Castro Theatre. With so many indoor options, the rainy season can be a great opportunity to discover new places and experiences.

So, don’t let the rain dampen your spirits! Embrace the unique beauty of San Francisco during its rainy season and make the most of the benefits it offers. Whether you’re enjoying the greener hills, exploring attractions with smaller crowds, or indulging in cozy indoor activities, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time in the City by the Bay.


San Francisco’s rainy season offers a different experience from the sunny summers. With damp and chilly weather for months on end, preparation is key. Packing proper rain gear, frequently checking forecasts, and having backup indoor plans makes it easy to enjoy all the city has to offer, rain or shine.

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