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San Diego Climate 💦 | San Diego Weather Averages, Temperatures, Yearly, Monthly & More!

Located on the San Diego Bay in Southern California just 20 miles north of the US-Mexico border, San Diego is famous for its pleasant weather. What is the weather like in San Diego, CA? It’s warm year-round with a very mild, somewhat wet winter and spring and dry, hot summers. Throughout the year, the average San Diego temperature stays somewhere between the 60s to the mid-70s. It’s no surprise San Diego was ranked the #1 most pleasant place in the U.S. thanks to its ideal temperature range, little rain or snow, and 261 “pleasant” days per year.

San Diego has a Mediterranean climate, but it has a borderline arid climate as it has dryer winters than other zones. With its unique topography that includes the Bay, canyons, hills, and mountains, San Diego climate varies significantly over short distances with microclimates.

Here’s a complete look at the climate in San Diego including typical weather you’ll experience by season and month.

San Diego Climate by Season

San Diego Spring Weather

The San Diego climate during the spring is very mild with an average spring temperature in the mid-60s. Early spring gets some rain with four average rainy days in March, but the rest of spring is fairly dry. Spring ends with the May Gray effect which reduces the amount of sunlight you get, but you’ll still see the flowers blooming.

There’s plenty to do in San Diego during the spring! The Coronado Flower Show in April is America’s largest tented flower show. Fiesta Old Town is an annual Cinco de Mayo party in the city’s historic district with more than 100,000 attendees over three days.

San Diego Summer Weather

What is summer like in San Diego? Dry, warm, and foggy in the morning. While many consider San Diego summers ideal, early summer isn’t as sunny as out-of-towners expect thanks to June Gloom. The average summer temperature in San Diego is in the mid-70s with lows in the mid-60s.

There is almost no rain in San Diego in the summer, perfect for enjoying popular outdoor activities like sunbathing at the beach and festivals. San Diego has tons of exciting events in the summer like San Diego Bike Fest in July, the San Diego Pride Parade, and, of course, Comic-Con International San Diego, an iconic event in its 30th year.

 

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San Diego Fall Weather

Fall in San Diego lasts from September through November. The weather in San Diego is ideal in autumn with average highs in the mid-70s, little rain, and without the foggy mornings of summer.

Looking for fun things to do in San Diego in the fall? Head to Historic Old Town to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, try the Haunted Trail at Balboa Park, and stop by the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival. Fall is the best time to hit the San Diego food festivals and culinary events like Restaurant Week! It’s also MLB season: catch a Padres game at PETCO Park.

 

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San Diego Winter Weather

What is winter like in San Diego? It may be the cool season, but San Diego winter weather is not like most places. Average daytime temperatures stay in the 60s and only drops into the high 40s very late at night. It’s not the best time to hit the beach, though, with very cold water. December also marks the beginning of the rainy season in San Diego which lasts until March.

What is there to do in San Diego in the winter? Be sure to see the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights and stop by for Balboa Park December Nights.

 

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San Diego Weather by Month

January

January is the wettest month in San Diego with about 2.3” of rain total. The January chill isn’t much different from December with an average low of 49°F and an average high of 66°F.

February

San Diego weather in February is often rainy with an average of 2” of rain. It’s also one of the chilliest months with an average high of 66°F and an average low of 51°F.

March

March is the end of the rainy season, but you’ll still get 2.3” of rain on average and about 4 rainy days. The temperature starts to pick up with an average high of 67°F.

April

The San Diego rain is almost gone by April. The average low increases to 56°F, days are warm and sunny, and it’s one of the best months to visit before May which brings overcast mornings.

May

May is May Gray in San Diego. A seasonal weather pattern causes overcast skies and cool temperatures when low-altitude clouds form over the ocean and spread over the city. While not usually rainy, May Gray brings drizzle and fog that clears up by late morning to early afternoon.

June

June Gloom in San Diego means this month tends to be overcast and gray in the early morning. The average low is 62°F with an average high of 72°F. June is very dry with virtually no rainy days.

July

The average temperature in July in San Diego is a high of 76°F and a low of 66°F. It’s the driest month with no rainy days. This is peak tourist season with the warmest days, no rain, and no morning gloom.

August

Like July, August in San Diego is very warm and dry with an average high of 77°F. August is the hottest month in San Diego, but it’s still cooler than most places in California. About 4 days in August have a high temperature over 90°F.

September

The weather in September is almost identical to August: dry with an average high of 77°F. However, the peak tourist season is over which makes this a perfect month to visit as fall begins. Expect at least a few days with high temperatures over 90°F.

October

The San Diego weather gets chillier in October with an average high of 74°F and an average low of 66°F, down from a low of 66°F in September. There’s an average of one rainy day in October.

November

By November, the average high temperature in San Diego drops to 70°F with an average low of 54°F. There are two average rainy days during November with about an inch of rain total.

December

December is the coldest month in San Diego with an average low of 49°F and an average high of 66°F. It’s also a wet month: there are four rainy days in December on average.

San Diego Climate Stats

  • Number of sunny days in San Diego: 266 days
  • Annual rainfall in San Diego: 12”
  • Number of annual rainy days: 38 days
  • Coldest month: December with an average overnight temperature of 49°F
  • Hottest month: August with an average high of 77°F
  • Wettest month: January with 2.1” of average rainfall
  • Most humid month: July with an average relative humidity of 74.6%
  • San Diego record high temperature: 111°F on September 26, 1963 and September 27, 2010
  • San Diego record low temperature: 25°F on January 7, 1913

Extreme Weather in San Diego – Drought & Flooding

Famous for its idyllic weather, San Diego does not get much in the way of extreme weather. However, the San Diego Bay area does experience drought as well as occasional flooding.

With its coastal location, San Diego is regularly affected by minor coastal flooding that’s usually little more than a nuisance. There are several factors that can contribute to coastal flooding:

King tides, or exceptionally high tides most common near the summer and winter solstices. They may be even higher during El Niño.
High surfs happen when distant storms bring higher than normal waves close to shore. When king tides occur along with high surfs, coastal flooding becomes much more likely.
El Niño makes the surface of the Pacific warmer which, combined with changing weather patterns, increases the sea level.
Coastal storms can dramatically increase sea levels and cause more extreme flooding, especially if they coincide with a king tide.

You can learn more about California coastal flooding from the National Ocean Service.

 

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While it’s very rare for San Diego to experience major flooding, it has happened. In 1980, flooding caused extensive damage and several deaths in southern San Diego County with most county reservoirs spilling. The San Diego River rose 7 feet over 4 hours!

Does San Diego ever get hurricanes? Not really, but there was one in recorded history: the 1858 San Diego hurricane. However, several tropical storms hit San Diego, including Hurricane Kathleen in 1976 that entered as a tropical storm. Southern California isn’t at high risk of a hurricane because these storms need 80-degree or warmer water which San Diego lacks. Trade winds also help keep hurricanes at bay.

Far more common than flooding in San Diego is drought, a problem that impacts much of California. For years, the state has dealt with one of its longest droughts in recent history with a state of emergency declared. California was in a drought from December 2011 to March 2019, a painful 376 weeks that led to water restrictions, including in San Diego County. Parts of San Diego County were among the driest.

Best Time to Visit San Diego

San Diego has great weather year-round and you’ll find plenty to do no matter when you visit. However, summer is the peak tourist season in San Diego.

 

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The best time to visit San Diego is March to April or September to October. You’ll enjoy warm weather and sunshine with fewer crowds at the beach. You will also beat the rainy spring season.

San Diego has the typical gray, overcast, and gloomy Mays and Junes of coastal California. Known as June Gloom, this happens when the atmospheric pressure is high enough to trap clouds that stay low on the city, holding in the cold air from the ocean.

The best time to visit San Diego for surfing is late fall through winter when you’ll enjoy larger, more consistent swells. The best San Diego surf season is August through November.

While the rest of the country deals with snowstorms, freezing nights, and broiling hot summers, San Diego residents enjoy one of the best climates in the world. Ready to enjoy the San Diego climate full-time? Call Republic Moving & Storage for help relocating to sunny San Diego!