Welcome to San Francisco! Yes, we know it’s May — but keep your umbrella handy – California


Rain in May? In San Francisco? It’s about as rare as naked joggers doing a Bay-to-Breakers-style race across Cedar Rapids, Iowa, during a December snowstorm.

And yet the rain is on the way. And there’s more where that came from — just in time for Bay to Breakers this Sunday.

Meteorologists tell us that Wednesday night’s widespread rainfall is part of a sprawling system that could spawn the region’s rainiest month of May in eight years. They say we could get more rain in one day than we normally get for the whole month. And with as much as 1.5 inches of rain expected in some parts of the Bay Area, the weather pattern stands in sharp contrast to the norms: On average, this paper reported, San Francisco receives 0.70 inches of rain in May, while Oakland receives 0.77 inches and San Jose 0.51 inches. And there’s still more rain in the forecast, with 10-day totals reaching as much as 2 to 2.5 inches, according to the weather service.

Travelers headed the Bay Area this month, however, could be in for a bit of a shock. If they used any of the gazillion travel sites out there as they planned for their trip to SF, here’s some of the advice they might have received:

From TripAdvisor

Asked about an “April or May Trip to SF,” user and presumed local resident “Madeline M” replied: “By April we’re usually past any rain.” Another user said: “You should be good in May. It’s usually past the rainy season, and the fog has yet to build up to its summertime levels. We often have a mini ‘hot spell’ at some point during May (only a few days though). I always remember, while growing up here, it being beautiful, right up to getting out for summer vacations in school.”

From FreeToursByFoot

“HOW MUCH SUN AND RAIN? Most of the days this month will be sunny or partly sunny as May averages 29 days of sunshine. The rest of the days are more likely to be cloudy than rainy.”

From SFToDo

“It is highly unlikely that you will encounter any rain in San Francisco in May. Every once in awhile there may be a partial rainy day but it should be a light rain. You can always pick up a cheap umbrella from any small store if that happens and go on about your trip. You may even be able to just duck into a restaurant or movie theater for a couple of hours until the rain passes. May is a terrific month to visit San Francisco. It probably won’t rain.”

From Quora

Local Richard Wood says “The winter rains will taper off and be mostly gone by May.”

From TheBlondeAbroad

“May means sunshine!”

From RoughGuides

“Spring and autumn usually have the sunniest days, while summer often sees heavy fog roll in through the Golden Gate. … Winter brings most of the city’s rainfall, sometimes in torrential storms. The best time to visit San Francisco is late May or June, when the hills are greenest and covered with wildflowers.”

From TripSavvy

“Pack a mid-weight jacket, especially for evenings. Bring short-sleeved shirts and lightweight pants, with a warmer layer. For sunny days, a hat is a good idea. … May begins the drier part of the year, with continued sunshine and even less rain than April.”


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