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The Weather in San Francisco in December

Updated: February 8, 2024

This post summarizes the San Francisco weather in December, with tips on how to dress and things to do. 

You may find our posts for the weather in November and January also helpful.

As a retired meteorologist turned tour guide, I now use my experience as a forecaster in my new career in tourism.

But here I am, finding myself answering more weather questions as a blogger than I ever did as a weatherman.

So, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the weather in San Francisco in December.

Reach out to me if you have additional questions on the weather this month.


December is one of the coldest months of the year in San Francisco.

However, if you are visiting here from many other places in the world, you may have a different definition of the word "cold."

As you may have heard, San Francisco has a Mediterranean climate, meaning it doesn't get very cold in our city.

Average San Francisco Temps in December

The average high temperature throughout December is about 66 F (19 C), which means that during the day, a sweatshirt or light jacket is all you need to stay warm.

The average low temperature, which typically happens late at night and early in the morning, is 46 F (8 C).

If you are an early riser or a night owl, you'll want some extra layers to protect against the weather.

The temperature almost never gets below freezing, and the last time it snowed in San Francisco was over 40 years ago.


December is typically the rainiest month of the year. On average, the city will receive rain 11 days out of the month.

However, you also should understand what "rain" means out here.

If you are from a tropical area where you can get very heavy downpours, you should know that doesn't happen here.

How sunny is it in December in San Francisco?

A rainy day could mean only 5 minutes of drizzle during a day, and sunny skies for most of the rest of the day.

So, we do recommend that you bring an umbrella to San Francisco.

However, make sure it's a light umbrella that's easy to carry around and stow away because you probably won't need to use it very much!

Seasonal Outlook - October to December 2024 San Francisco

There is a 77% chance for normal to above normal temperatures and a 77% chance for normal to below normal rainfall.


As we mentioned above, December is one of the colder months of the year.

We would recommend bringing a sweatshirt in addition to a light jacket to wear around the city.

If we have one of our colder days, when the weather gets into the 40s (below 10 C), it will be helpful to have multiple warm layers.

Also, if you will be walking around the waterfront, such as near the ferry building or around Fisherman's Wharf on our Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour, it may get windy.

So you might want to bring a light scarf or earmuffs.


Below are our top ten list of things to do in December. We have more ideas of things to do and see this month as well as our master post for any time of the year

And if you are planning on visiting many of San Francisco's top attractions, then you should consider a tourist discount pass.

You could save up to 50% of retail ticket prices to tours, attractions, and restaurants.

See our full post on things to do and see in December.

Written by Fred Pickhardt

Ocean Weather Services

About The Author

Fred Pickhardt

Fred is a marine meteorologist and sailed briefly with American Export Lines in the Far East trade. He has extensive experience in weather analysis, weather forecasting, and forensic weather event reconstructions. Fred founded Ocean Weather Services and currently provides forensic marine weather reports to the maritime industry.
Updated: February 8th, 2024
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