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the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

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the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

today was one of those days in which mark twain's oft-quoted "the coldest winter i ever spent was a summer in san francisco" chimed so true.

in an earlier post i reported that i saw scores of shocked tourists freezing their buns off today at the wharf and felt so sorry for them as i was enjoying my clam chowder wrapped in a wool sweater and wool scarf as the freezing fog rolled in. it's a typical sight, but i felt particularly bad for everyone today so i felt i had to post something as an advisory for visitors planning trips to the city, especially those who come for the summer.

please, if you're planning a trip to our fair city, know that we don't have a typical summer: expect some sun and some beautiful blue skies, but be prepared for the inevitable cold, gray skies, and fog by bringing a medium weight jacket or sweater with you at all times. it gets COLD here and the daytime highs rarely climb higher than the 70s. you may hit a microclimate (the mission, for instance) or a rare day when it's sunny during the day, but know that the day will swiftly turn cold around 4-5pm.

leave the shorts at home, or save them for day trips out of the city (like napa or yosemite or monterey). shorts tag you immediately as a tourist unless you're jogging!

dress in layers: jacket, sweater, short sleeved shirt, khakis or jeans.

enjoy your trip!

California
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1. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

Mark Twain never said that.

www.snopes.com

Everything else in your post was absolutely true. Coming from warmer parts of the state means you may end up buying one of those handy fleece pullovers with the bridge logos on them. ;)

Birmingham,al.
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2. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

Is it the same the first part of September? That's when we are arriving and My wife is cold natured! We will be going to Napa and Monterey, so I guess we should bring lighter clothes for those?

Looking foward to the trip!

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3. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

suzie travels,

yes, i'd heard/read that he probably didn't say it...but the quote is so fitting that it's irresistible, isn't it? :)

i saw so many tourists with those cheap, fleece SF sweatshirts on the wharf yesterday...more than usual. it was freezing!

anyway, i grew up in the Central Valley, so I had my fill of 105 degree summers. bring on the fog!

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4. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

joe,

september tends to be warmer weather (a few degrees warmer!) than the rest of the year (sept-oct is our "summer," with an emphasis on the quotes!) so you may be in luck with sunnier days and not so much fog (but by no means shorts weather!). however, weather is so unpredictable that i would say you should still bring at least a lightweight jacket for evenings and dress in layers.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

In September and October, I think you can actually get away with shorts. I was talking to my brother today about the weather in September, and we both remember it being hot in San Francisco in the summer, hot meaning actually getting to the mid 70s. So shorts is wearable, but just remember to always bring a jacket or sweater. Today is typical San Francisco weather, fog near the ocean, sunny near the bay, and mild temperatures.

Lodi, California
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6. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

I always thought that was one of the best things about being in The City in the summer-dressed in my layers, and watching the "tourists" walking about with blue lips and goose bumps, but now that I have "matured" I tend to feel rather sorry for them. These are good posts-just hope they are read by those visiting, prior to packing!

San Francisco...
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7. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

Yesterday I was wearing shorts while walking around in the Mission district. Beautiful day!

Stoke-on-Trent...
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8. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

So some locals DO own shorts despite popular opinion :-)

San Francisco...
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9. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

And today was another warm short wearing day!

Watford
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10. Re: the coldest winter you ever spent is here in SF: please...

As us Londoners say to all those who ask about what the weather will be like here...layers!

We were in SF in early October 2003 and woke up to a glorious early Autumn morning with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. We went to Golden Gate Park and were wandering around at around 11.00am when the fog rolled in just like a John Carpenter horror film and the temperature dropped by about 10 degrees in little more than a few minutes.