February in San Francisco: Weather, What to Pack, and What to See

Chinese Lanterns Hanging Over Street in San Francisco

Jana Dvorakova/EyeEm/Getty Images

In February, San Francisco is quiet. It's a good time to see the city without the crowds. And it will be sunnier in February than in the summer when San Francisco's legendary fog rolls in.

Writer George Sterling once called San Francisco the "cool, grey city of love" and you may have heard that singer Tony Bennett left his heart there. What better place could you find to celebrate Valentine's Day? To get an idea or two, use the guide to planning a romantic trip to San Francisco.

San Francisco Weather in February

People often want to know what the weather is like in San Francisco in February. Variability may be San Francisco weather's most prominent characteristic. It might rain — or it might not. It might be sunny — or cloudy. The key to knowing what it will be like during your trip is to check the short-range forecast.

February is in the middle of San Francisco's rainy season. Sometimes, a winter storm can dump the entire monthly rainfall in a single day. If the weather tries to turn your vacation into a soggy mess, there are lots of things to do on a rainy day in San Francisco.

People also want to know if it's cold in San Francisco in February. By the standards of the city's residents, it is one of the coldest months of the year. Tourists from colder climates often have a different point of view and run around in mid-February wearing short-sleeved shirts while the locals shiver even after putting on their winter gear.

  • Average High Temperature: 61 F ( 16 C)
  • Average Low Temperature: 48 F ( 9 C)
  • Water Temperature: 55 F (13 C)
  • Rain: 2.95 inches (7.4 cm)
  • Rainfall: 11 days
  • Daylight: 11 hours
  • Sunshine: 7 hours
  • Humidity: 71 %
  • UV Index: 3

If you're still trying to decide when to visit San Francisco, you can find all the monthly averages in the San Francisco climate guide. Before you make your final plans and pack that suitcase, check the San Francisco weather forecast a few days in advance of your trip.

What to Pack

If rain is predicted, an umbrella may not be your best choice. They're hard to carry on crowded sidewalks and don't protect from wind-driven raindrops. A warm, waterproof jacket with hood is the best option — or a full-length raincoat.

Some visitors from colder climates think San Francisco feels like summer in January, and they run around in short-sleeved shirts just because they can. To avoid being instantly identified as an out-of-towner, resist that urge.

A mid-weight jacket (or a bit more) will be enough on dry days. San Franciscans often wear gloves, hat, and scarf on cooler mornings. You can leave the heavy winter coat at home unless you're going to the ski slopes.

February Events in San Francisco

  • Chinese New Year: It's a lunar holiday that can happen in January or February, and once in a while, the parade is in early March. There are plenty of events to celebrate the new year according to the Chinese calendar. You can celebrate by going to the big parade, watching the beauty pageant, going on a treasure hunt, or walking through Chinatown to see the festivities.
  • SF Indie Fest: If you're a fan of edgy, under the radar independent films, you can indulge your passion at the Indie Fest. They're also known for throwing some fun parties. 
  • The Mostly British Film Festival: Featuring New and classic films from
    the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, India, and South Africa
  • San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition: Is the largest wine competition of American wines in the world with more than 7,000 entries. Besides all the snooty sipping and scoring, the competition also hosts a public wine tasting and food sampling events.
  •  San Francisco Beer Week: A celebration of craft beer and the community around it.

Things to Do in February

  • Watch a Basketball Game: Golden State Warriors play basketball in their new home in San Francisco's Chase Center, starting in 2019.
  • Go Whale Watching: February is gray whale season around San Francisco, which makes it the perfect time to go whale watching.
  • Go Wine Tasting: Leave the city for a day and go wine tasting in Napa Valley. Winter is Napa's slow time of year, and you'll get lots of attention in the tasting rooms.
  • If you're looking to attend a fun concert, sporting event, or theatrical performance, check the San Francisco Chronicle's entertainment section. You'll also find an extensive list of events at SF Weekly.

February Travel Tips

  • February is a great time to get the best prices on hotels in San Francisco. With demand for hotels low this time of year, room rates become low as well.
  • Sign up for a free account with Goldstar to get access to discounted tickets for local performances and save on some San Francisco attractions.
  • A cold or rainy February day is a good excuse to try one of the real San Francisco treats. Irish coffee first landed on U.S. shores in San Francisco and the bar that introduced it is still going strong. 
  • Any time of year. you can use these tips to be a smarter San Francisco visitor who has more fun and puts up with fewer annoyances.
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