August in Los Angeles: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Santa Monica beach, Los Angeles, California, USA

 

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August is the warmest and clearest summer month in Los Angeles. If you visit then, you're likely to have cloudless, sunny skies with little chance of rain or fog, but it may be hot, depending on what part of the city you visit.

August is a busy month for Los Angeles area attractions. The theme parks are bursting with visitors, and the beaches are packed. The most popular summer events sell out weeks or months ahead, making advance planning essential. 

Los Angeles Weather in August

August is one of the warmest, sunniest months of the year in LA. Unfortunately, higher temperatures can also contribute to air quality issues.

These averages are an indication of what to expect from Los Angeles weather in August. The weather varies by year, though and you should check the current forecast before you plan your travel wardrobe and pack your bags.

  • Average High Temperature: 84°F (29°C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 64°F (18°C)
  • Water Temperature: 68°F (20°C)
  • Rain: Unlikely, and not more than a tiny fraction of an inch
  • Sunshine: 95%
  • Daylight: 13.5 to 14 hours

You should also know that the LA metro area covers a lot of geography and a variety of microclimates. That means averages can be deceiving. Near the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, the average high in August is 70 degrees, but at Universal Studios just 18 miles away, the average high is 94. 

Checking the current weather for a few days before you leave will give you a better idea of how much difference to expect.

What To Pack

It's colder near the beach in L.A. than you might expect. Pack a mid-weight jacket if you plan to spend the evening near the water. With so much sunshine to enjoy, don't forget to pack your sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen.

Short-sleeved shirts, shorts, and lightweight pants are fine for most locations. You can get away with running around casually dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, but some locals might dress more fashionably.

If you’re going to the beach, you may want to wiggle those ten fine toes in the sand. But getting that sand off your feet and out of everything else you own can be hard. To make it easier, pack a little bit of baby powder or cornstarch to put into your day pack. Sprinkle it on your skin and the sand will brush off much easier.

August Events in Los Angeles

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September, but if that day is also September 1, Labor Day weekend begins in August. To get some ideas on what you can do over the long weekend, get some ideas for Labor Day fun in California. Or here are some other annual events in August to check out.

  • Pageant of the Masters and Festival of the Arts: This annual event in Laguna Beach is hard to describe, but most people who go are glad they did. In short, people get dressed up and made up to look like scenes from famous paintings. It's quite a spectacular thing to see.
  • International Surf Festival: The surf festival is held in four cities along the coast south of LAX Airport: Torrance, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, and Manhattan Beach. Competitions include bodysurfing, a lifeguard championship, and a beach volleyball tournament.

Things to Do in Los Angeles in August

Go out at Night: One of the best things about summer in LA is a balmy night that follows a hot day. During summer, you can go to a movie outdoors, see a play, go to a concert - or opt for some of LA's more unusual summer night activities. It's all in the guide to summer nights in Los Angeles.

Hit the Beach: With the weather clear and bright and temperatures warmer, August is a great month to check out some of Los Angeles' best beaches.

Watch the Grunion Run: March through August is time for something uniquely Southern California, the annual grunion run. Thousands of tiny, silver-colored fish spawn on the sand during the full moon (or the new one). See the schedule. At some Los Angeles beaches, "Grunion Greeters" are on hand to explain and help you get the most out of being there.

Watch Whales: In LA, you can see whales nearly year round. Blue whales are the star of the show during the summer months. Find the best places to see them and when in the guides to Los Angeles whale watching and Orange County whale watching.

August Travel Tips

  • Beaches in Los Angeles are susceptible to "red tides" when red-colored algae grow and color the water. Find out everything you need to know about red tides
  • Once in a while, the phenomenon called "June Gloom" extends into late summer, turning August into "Fogust," as locals call it. There's nothing you can do to prevent that, but you can be prepared with an alternate destination in case that sunny day at the beach isn't going to happen.
  • Los Angeles hotel occupancy rates are consistent over most of the year but are somewhat higher in August. Expect correspondingly higher room rates as a result.
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