Skip Navigation

Rainfall in California during December??

Travel Forums North America Rainfall in California during December??

1. Posted by honeygaz (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,
I am planning to visit San Fran, Santa Barbara, LA and San Diego from Dec 15th to Jan 13th.

Having looked at the various climate charts it shows much heavier rain fall during December and January than in other months and I just wondered how much it actually rained? Is it every day, all day or just occasionsally?

I'd really appreciate any information.

Many thanks

2. Posted by gypsygenes (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Being from the UK, I'd say that you are used to more grey weather and rainfall (in general) than we are.

California is considered a Mediterranean" climate. The wet winter/dry summer seasonality of precipitation is the defining characteristic of this climate. November to April are subject to rain.

It can be a bummer if it is raining when you are traveling. I am not sure how to advise you. Every year has different weather. Last 2 years have been "not-so-nice". It is very doubtful that you'd be hit with rain the entire visit. On the other hand (I work in outdoor event planning for a botanical garden) if you desire to be outdoors for a majority of your trip you might be disappointed.

You could plan for both contingencies- have a sun plan and a rain plan (I do this for my events!). That way you will have a stimulating journey no matter what. Plan a museum and indoor activity version of every town you want to see.

Let us know how it goes!

3. Posted by honeygaz (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Thank you ever so much for your reply. It has really helped me.

I am used to the rain, although it is 99 degrees here in the UK today!

However, all of the places we wanted to visit are more the outdoors things like Yosemite National Park and I also love looking at architecture so I think that we might choose somewhere else instead.

With it being a "special" holiday we don’t want the hassle of it raining and then not wanting to do thing. It's ok being cold as you can wrap up but rain is not so easy to take.

I've looked in some brochures at Florida. I've never really wanted to go there as I thought it was just all Disney and theme parks and that doesn't really interest me but Miami sounds as though it might have some cool architecture and I think we may be able to drive around the coast within 4 weeks. Oh, and also the brochure says there's not much chance of rain...

Your job sounds interesting. What kind of events do you organise for the botanical gardens?

Thanks again for your help

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3580 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I think Kim gave you good advice. Only a fool would try and predict weather 5 months from now. Rain in Calif is not monsoon in India after all. I doubt it will affect your plans very much. Every city you named has great museum, malls and things to see indoors when rain does spoil your outdoor plans. A must see should be the Getty Museums, LA & Malibu. Good Luck.

5. Posted by Ham Radio (Respected Member 285 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You can forget rain in Los Angeles and San Diego during that time frame. Worst case scenario would require a light jacket.

6. Posted by muyfreezee (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

All those others don't know a thing about California....
I'll sum it up for you.... It never rains all day, all storms come in sequences lasting partial days... in the event it does go all day blue skies always follow.... and if your in the rain you should be really crying because your not up high enough in the sierra's enjoying what we call freash pow pow..... fluffy snow gliding under your skis...

its california weather which is great there is so much activity the weather decides your activity...... and when you really realize this you'll start feeling what its really like....the California life style that is......

and Santa barbara and San diego --- sunny almost all the time with no fog in the winter.... San diego---- if you haven't heard is the city where it is always a great day for a bike ride always 70-80 degrees and sunny year around.......... yes bring a rain jacket, as well as sandels, scuba gear, snow skies, down coat, surf board, tent and of course both you sun cap and mother warm wool hat as well...... Yes....... I tell how it is........Yes I.....

7. Posted by friscokid (Full Member 122 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

my money says no rain in december, but lots of rain in january (san francisco bay area)