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San Diego Weather and Climate
Getting today's San Diego weather or a forecast for the upcoming week is easy. If you want to know what the weather might be six months from now - or whenever you're planning your San Diego trip - some averages may be more helpful.
If You're Planning a San Diego Vacation, go to the San Diego vacation planner for more information
Do You Think Metric?
We're bilingual. Just click on over to page 3 to find the same San Diego weather and climate information in units you're used to.
A Few Things You May Not Know About San Diego Weather
It's a rare day when everything about San Diego weather is exactly "average." You can use the climate information above to get an idea of what things will be like, but the last time we checked, the city was not issuing any weather guarantees.
Average rainfall is particularly deceiving in California, mostly because it depends on what happens in the Pacific Ocean. When the ocean experiences El Nino conditions, it can rain a lot, but in... other years, you'll hardly see a drop all winter. Another thing to be aware of is that a whole month's rainfall often comes in just a day or two.
Have you heard of June Gloom? This fact isn't intuitive unless you live on the coast, but the driest month in San Diego (June) gets the least sun, as "June Gloom" descends, a San Diego weather pattern that occurs when a blanket of marine fog hovers over the coast. It can start as early as "May Gray", sometimes lingering into "No Sky July". To find out more about and what causes June Gloom check out this guide.
Another oddity: February, San Diego's rainiest month is also one of the clearest.
San Diego is at its best in spring and fall, when skies are clearer and rain less likely. But that doesn't stop some people from going at other times. In a poll we conducted, over 4,500 voters said they like to go to San Diego in the winter.
July and August bring the hottest San Diego weather, which you might guess means fewer people will be visiting. Instead, that time of year is the most popular with Arizonans who think it's almost cold compared to their scorching summer temperatures.
No matter what it's like during the day, San Diego is almost always cool in the evening, especially near the ocean.
Some locals claim there's a phenomenon called "earthquake weather" which is usually described as hot and dry. This myth goes all the way back to ancient Greece. In fact, earthquakes start miles underground and happen in any weather.
San Diego Weather Records
Continue to 2 of 3 below.
- The highest recorded temperature in San Diego was 111°F in 1963.
- The lowest temperature was 25°F in 1913.
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What to Wear, What to Pack for Your San Diego Trip
What to Wear in San Diego
You know how to match temperature to your wardrobe selection, so this list focuses more on style and practical considerations you might not think of.
- Casual clothing will be appropriate almost anywhere in San Diego.
- A few fancy-pants restaurants may have dress codes. Check ahead if you're going to one of them.
- I learned this lesson the hard way. Evenings near the beach are cooler than you may expect. Think extra layers.
- It's also colder on a San Diego harbor tour than you might expect, especially in late afternoon. Take an extra layer (or two), or you may get so cold you won't even notice what you're passing.
San Diego by Month
You'll find more specific suggestions in these month-by-month guides:
What to Pack for San Diego
These are a few things that I have found helpful to have along when going to San Diego:
Continue to 3 of 3 below.
- Strong sunscreen is a good idea, with higher SPF than you might use at... home - especially if you plan to spend time at the beach, where reflection from the water makes it easier to get burned.
- If your hair tends to frizz in humid places, bring extra products to keep it tamed.
- You might need an umbrella or raincoat in winter, but seasonal weather patterns vary. Check the forecast before you leave home.
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San Diego Weather and Climate (Metric Units)
If you're more comfortable with Celsius and centimeters than Fahrenheit and inches and these graphs are just for you.
If you prefer those units of measure, then we're guessing that you may live outside of the U.S. If you do, you're not alone. Lots of international visitors come to San Diego every year.
Besides the information on the previous page, here are a few more things that may help you plan your trip:
- International driver's license requirements
- When you need snow chains in California - and where to get them
- Some simple rules of the road in California
San Diego Weather Records
- The highest recorded temperature in San Diego was 44°C in 1963.
- The lowest temperature was -4°C in 1913.