San Francisco Weather
Known for being foggy and notoriously cold at times during the summer, I must say that I thought the San Francisco weather was very comfortable. Admittedly, we lived in Pacific Heights on the East side of the peninsula which is considerably less foggy than further West toward the ocean, so I was probably fairly lucky.
As a backdrop to filmmaking and Dear Lina, the changing light was very inspiring and the restrictions of shooting in public were not particularly restrictive.
The city, although small, has a number of micro-climates and therefore, it can a bit tricky to pin down exactly what the weather is like. Up by Twin Peaks for example, there was beautiful fog rolling off the peaks almost every day. Down in the mission area, it was almost always a bit sunnier and a few degrees warmer than in Pacific Heights.
It's tricky trying to describe the San Fransisco weather, given how varied it is. For example, on a windy day at the top of Alta Plaza Park it can be cool on the West side but rather pleasant on the South facing benches on the East side that are sheltered from the wind. You can sit and soak up the sun, read a book or sip on your coffee as though it were mid-summer, get up, begin to stroll further West and in 3 minutes you're regretting not having brought a jacket. You get the picture.
The sun is strong remember, so take care not to get sunburned because it may not be that warm due to the breeze but the UV is working away as always. In fact, the slight haziness of the city tends to make it very bright and personally, I absolutely had to use shades on most days. (hey, I've got sensitive eyes - comes with the trade ;-)
Max average summer temperatures are no higher than around 70'F (21'C) during the day and the low around 55'F (13'C). For winter, the day max is around 58'F (14'C) and drops to 46'F (8'C) at night. In other words, the range is not very large.
Essentially, the weather is Mediterranean in the sense that the summers are fairly dry and warm and the winters cool and wet. The exception being that the summers are essentially not very warm. It's strange because you might be tempted to wear shorts in the morning but by midday, the cool ocean breeze has picked up and cooled it down once again. It's not cold so much as a bit chilly at times and the wind can be fairly cool and raw, especially as you get closer to the ocean. Out by the ocean, even during midsummer, it can be surprisingly cold.
The winter never really got that cold. The temperature dropped below zero on a few occasions during the nights but the days were generally chilly in the morning to surprisingly comfortable at times in the early afternoon. It's a good climate to work in, do sports and so forth but definitely not your typical California weather. As you cross the bay bridge to Oakland and Berkeley, the temperature can literally shoot up by 10 degrees.
Dressing for the San Francisco weather is more a question of precaution, than guarantee. I would suggest never leaving home without bringing a thin jacket of sorts, especially if you're out for the whole day. During the winter months, you need to dress up warm when it's wet and raw. It can be fairly cold, especially during the early morning and at night.
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