Averages for San Francisco in December
December San Francisco
December is winter and the rainy season in San Francisco, USA. This time of year brings gradually falling day time temperatures and an average temperature of 100C. The average high and low temperatures vary from a low of 80C to a day time high of 130C. The highest recorded temperature at this time of year was in 1958 when the temperature reached 240C and the low...
December San Francisco
December is winter and the rainy season in San Francisco, USA. This time of year brings gradually falling day time temperatures and an average temperature of 100C. The average high and low temperatures vary from a low of 80C to a day time high of 130C. The highest recorded temperature at this time of year was in 1958 when the temperature reached 240C and the lowest recorded was in 1990 when it only got to -20C. For warmer temperatures and less rain, better months to visit are July and August in the summer season.
This is one of the wettest months of the year with average rainfall at 112mm falling over an average of 10 days in the month. Rain is usually light or moderate but heavier downpours are not uncommon so take an umbrella when you go out. Precipitation varies from year to year depending on the El Nio which brings warmer wetter conditions or cooler, dryer La Nia years that bring less rain. The wettest December on record was in 2002 when 271mm of rain fell in the month and the driest month was in 1989 when only 2mm of rain fell.
The topography of San Francisco means there are several micro-climates with the hills located in the middle of the city affecting the rainfall across the area. The hills protect the suburbs to the east from the colder and wetter extremes of the weather, while neighbourhoods to the west experience generally colder and windier conditions. There is rarely snow during this month but occasional snow flurries may be experienced briefly that do not settle.
Daily average hours of sunshine at this time of year is 6 hours a day, and is constant throughout the month. The sunrises at around 7am at the start of December and sunset is at 5pm, which is relatively unchanged towards the end of the month. Cloud cover is 55% to 65% during this month and tends to become slightly cloudier as the month progresses.
Humidity varies from 60% to 90% in this month and tends to get more humid later in the month. Sea temperatures are a chilly 130C so swimming in the bay is only an option for the super brave in this month! Wind speeds are light to moderate at 0 m/s to 6 m/s and tend to decrease later in the month. A 25 day forecast is available for detailed travel planning for the coming weeks.
Where to stay
For visitors looking for nightlife in the city, SoMa is a great place to stay. This neighbourhood has an urban vibe, with plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants to keep you entertained, while museums and shopping is an option during the colder December days. The 3.5* Hotel Griffon is located here and is close to the Financial district and Chinatown, with views of the San Francisco Bay Bridge from many of the rooms. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a car service to downtown and an on-site restaurant, as well as a fitness centre.
Another good option for SoMa in December is Hotel Zelos. This 4* hotel is great for those looking for somewhere to base themselves when out for pre-Christmas drinks and parties, as it is located close to many bars and restaurants, Union square shopping district and has a bar/restaurant on the fifth floor that is perfect for a few social drinks and dining. The hotel also has a fitness centre, spa, room service and high speed internet.
For Christmas shoppers, December is a great month for visit the city and stay in Union square, San Francisco's shopping district. The 3.5* Handlery Hotel is ideally located for shopping, and all rooms feature Wi-Fi internet access, mini refrigerators and a safe. Stay in traditional rooms in the Historic section of the hotel, or oversized, luxurious rooms in the Club section. The hotel also has a pool, fitness centre, restaurant and bar for everything visitors need during their stay in the city.
Things to do
A great activity to keep the kids and adults entertained in December is a trip to Pier 39 to see the sea lions. These beautiful creatures first arrived in the West Marina in 1990 and the population soon grew to around 200 animals. During the winter months the number of sea lions increases to around 900, mostly males while they mostly migrate south to the Channel Islands during the summer.
Another great way to spend the day with kids or for active adults, is the Union square ice skating rink. Open during the winter months, this is located in central Union square and gives visitors the opportunity to ice skate in a beautiful setting while enjoying the shopping and entertainment options in the district. For those who don't want to take part, just watching those skating is a relaxing and entertaining way to spend time during the lead up to Christmas.
Restaurants and nightlife
For elegant dining in the SoMa district, try the Boulevard Restaurant. Serving American, French and International dishes, this is the perfect dining option for a romantic meal with a loved one or for a special occasion. A popular restaurant with efficient service and an extensive wine list, this is a good choice for a special meal during the winter months.
For a night out and a few drinks at Union square, go to Mikkeller Bar. Offering a wide selection of beers with 42 taps and a specialised bottled beer selection from around the world, this is a must-go for beer lovers. The food is up-scale pub food with a stylish décor and great service, this is the place to go after a hard day shopping at Union Square.