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How is the Weather in January in San Francisco?

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This post summarizes the San Francisco weather in January, with tips on how to dress and things to do.  You may find our posts for the weather in December and February also helpful.




San Francisco during January tends to be on the cool side, but quite mild when compared to most of the rest of the United States during mid-winter. Daytime highs tend to be in the mid-50s F (13-14 C) as the new year begins, warming into the upper 50s F (15 C) by month’s end.  


Average temperatures San Francisco January


A few of the warmer days, especially near the end of the month will, sometimes, reach or exceed 65 F (18 C).  Overnight lows tend to average in the mid-40s F (7-8 C) with a couple of the colder mornings dipping down into the upper 30s F (3-4 C).  

The warmest temperature ever reported in January was 79 F (26.1 C) while the coldest was 30 F (-1.1 C).


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Skies over San Francisco during January tend to be sunny or at least partly sunny on about 16 days with cloudy or mostly cloudy conditions on 15 days.

Some rainfall occurs on about 11 days this month; however, rainfalls of at least 0.04 inches (1 mm) occur on about 8 days. Heavy rains of ½ inch (13 mm) or more occur only on about 3 days during this month.


Sun and Rain San Francisco January


Wind speed average around 8-9 mph (13-14 kph) during January, ranging mostly between 4mph and 15 mph (6-24 kph). Daylight increases during the course of the month from a little over 9 and a half hours on New Year‘s Day to over 10 hours by month’s end.


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So, what should you pack for a January visit to San Francisco? We recommend bringing a sweater or sweatshirt in addition to a light to medium weight jacket to wear while exploring the city.


What to Wear in January in San Francisco


On the colder and windier days, it will be helpful to have multiple warm layers in addition to the jacket. The wind near the waterfront tends to be somewhat stronger so dress accordingly and remember to bring a good pair of walking shoes.

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There are more things to do in January than we can list here, so be sure to read our full post on what 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 as you could save up to 50% of retail ticket prices to tours, attractions, and restaurants.




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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: September 27th, 2021
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