By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: What’s the weather like in San Francisco during fall and winter?

A: Legendary American storyteller Mark Twain once quipped, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." This astute statement has often been attributed to him with his characteristic hyperbole. Whoever first said it, he or she knew what they were talking about.

San Francisco's climate is if nothing else dependably changeable. Temperatures and conditions change literally by the hour and can differ from one part of the city to the other. Yet overall, the City by the Bay enjoys an eternally spring-like climate.

Temperatures beside the Golden Gate average 12-18 Celsius in summer and 8-14 C in winter. For clothing options this means San Francisco residents save on wardrobe costs because the same clothes are good year round. Pack knits, light wools, long sleeves and pants.

Fall is the warmest season with the thermostat reaching an average 15 C with an occasional burst of heat at 26 C. So don’t be surprised if you spot sun worshippers along the beachfront. For rainfall expect most of it in late fall and early winter.

The San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau points out in its visitor guide, The San Francisco Book, “Visitors are most comfortable with a light jacket or coat handy, or in a suit. An all-weather coat will chill off cool evenings. Lightweight summer clothes are seldom practical in San Francisco.” Comfortable walking shoes are also a wise fashion choice.

For more travel information on San Francisco, visit


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