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In Sacramento, clear skies are the norm and anything under 50 degrees is commonly referred to as “freezing.” Sacramentans are spoiled with some of the best weather around for half the year.
With hot sunny summers, brisk autumns, chilly winters and warm springtime, Sacramento experiences all the seasons. For some residents, it’s jeans and t-shirt weather almost year-round. A sweater or jacket is needed for the winter and shorts are handy for the hot days in summer. Generally, most locals will tell you that October is the best single month of weather in Sacramento as there is little chance of rain and daytime temperature averages are in the mid-70s to 80s.
Sacramento enjoys a Mediterranean climate that is pleasantly mild throughout most of the year, with the exception of summer where temperatures are above 100 degrees for many days in July and August (sometimes even June). The low humidity keeps things moderately comfortable even as the temperature rises. Most people beat the heat by going swimming, rafting, or boating in one of two major rivers, the American and the Sacramento Rivers.
The average temperature throughout the year is 61 °F (16 °C), with the daily average ranging from 46 °F (8 °C) to 76 °F (24 °C) in December and January. Average daily high temperatures range from 53 °F (12 °C) in December and January to 93 °F (34 °C) in July, so you know if 93 °F is the "average" there are plenty of days that are hotter. Daily low temperatures range from 38ºF to 58 °F (3 to 14 °C).
Sacramento receives an average of about 16 inches of precipitation per year with about 58 days of rain. Winter can bring damp fog and gloomy grey days. Much to the disappointment of schoolchildren in search of an extra day off, snow is quite rare in Sacramento, but the city does receive on occasional dusting, on average about once per decade.
If the weather is poor, visiting some of the many excellent museums in the area will keep you entertained.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is just a short drive to the east and the weather there is quite different. With afternoon thunderstorms throughout the summer and regular, heavy snowfall in the winter, the mountains offer up an exciting alternative to Sacramento ’s more temperate climate. It should also be noted that the Sierra Nevada snow pack, in addition to providing great skiing and snowboarding, is the most vital source of water for the entire Golden State .
If you're into white water rafting, keep in mind that the Upper Sacramento River can only be rafted in the spring and the season is short, so reservations must be made early.
Autumn is the time for colorful leaves, and Plumas County is the place for that. It's quite a jaunt from the city, but well worth the veritable rainbow of colors you'll see: quaking aspen, birch, dogwood, black cottonwood, and big leaf maple, to name only a few. Visit http://plumascounty.org/ for regular updated color reports.