1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

San Francisco by Month


12 of 12

San Francisco in December

What to Expect from San Francisco in December

You won't find a white Christmas in San Francisco unless you head for Lake Tahoe, but December is in the rainy season and prone to winter storms. It's also the month with the least sunshine and one of the coldest.

San Francisco Weather in December

Average High Temperature: 57°F/14°C
Average Low Temperature: 45°F/7°C
Rain & Clouds Index: 3.1 inches (7.9 cm) rain, 45% sunshine

What to Pack, What to Wear in December

Your best bet is to check the short-range forecast before you go, but from the track record we've seen, it's hard thing to get the San Francisco weather forecast right and things could change in just a few days, after your bags are packed. Be prepared for moderate temperatures and bring some rain gear just in case. For that, a hooded jacket is a better idea than an umbrella. Layers area also a strategy, a lot of them so you can adjust to match the weather.

San Francisco December Events

December is more or less consumed with preparations for Christmas - and celebrating the new year.
  • Christmas in San Francisco: San Franciscans have a batch of Christmas traditions uniquely their own, including a lighted city skyline and some great musical events.

  • New Year's Eve: Indoors and out, there will be parties and public celebrations. In San Francisco, that normally includes fireworks at midnight on December 31, which happen behind the Ferry Building at the end of Market Street.

Especially Fun in December

We love the lights that outline the Embarcadero Center every holiday season. They're prettiest when viewed from Treasure Island (halfway across the Bay Bridge) at twilight.

If the weather tries to rain on your vacation, try these Things to Do on a Rainy Day in San Francisco

December is gray whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when and where in the San Francisco Whale Watching Guide.

Averages and Reality

Use the weather averages to get an idea of what things may be like, but it might be different when you visit. A winter day could even be so warm you'll wish you packed your shorts.

Averages are helpful for planning ahead, but don't count on your trip being "average." Check the San Francisco weather forecast before you leave home.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.