By Betsy Malloy
By July, San Francisco's typical weather pattern includes lots of fog and on the average, you'll encounter fewer days of sunshine than in the spring or fall. That fog is wet and the winds that accompany it make it all feel much cooler than the thermometer reading might imply.
"Isn't this California?" you may ask. Of course it is, but think about it - all those television shows and movies that gave you the idea that that whole state is sunny were filmed in Los Angeles, weren't they?
For the same reasons, July isn't the best of months to go to the beach in San Francisco. It's likely to be gray and foggy, and the water is frigid.
Average High Temperature: 69°F/21°C
Average Low Temperature: 55°F/13°C
Rain & Clouds Index: 0.04 inches (0.1 cm) rain, 66% sunshine
Many visitors find it hard to believe, but July is not the months for shorts and tank tops in San Francisco. Cold fog and breezes can easily make Fourth of July night can feel colder than New Year's Eve.
To watch San Francisco's Fourth of July fireworks, I wear warm, full-length pants and take 3 to 4 layers of long-sleeved shirts and/or sweatshirts. If you aren't prepared for it with proper clothing, you will most likely be improving the local economy by purchasing warmer clothes from a street vendor. Or heading for a warmer spot before the fireworks start.
Foggy, gray skies often make visitors from other areas think it's going to rain, but July is one of the driest months. You're not likely to need an umbrella or rain coat, but the fog can make you damp and miserable, so a hooded jacket is a good idea.
Summer is the time for outdoor concerts and June through August is the season for the Stern Grove Festival. You can't beat the performers, the price (free) or the laid-back San Francisco ambiance at this outdoor summer concert series.
July is blue whale and humpback whale season around San Francisco. Find out how, when and where in the San Francisco Whale Watching Guide.
If you get caught feeling half-frozen on a foggy day, it's a good time to try one of the real San Francisco treats. Irish coffee first landed on US shores in San Francisco and the bar that introduced it is still going strong. Find out more.
After the sun goes down in July, you'll find some fun things that you can't do any other time of year. Check them out in the guide to San Francisco Summer Nights
Major League Baseball season runs from March through early October and San Francisco has one of the prettiest stadiums around. If the San Francisco Giants are playing at home, watching a game is fun way to spend a few hours. We like afternoon games better than night because it's warmer.
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.