Weather

Winter Weather Forecast For San Francisco

AccuWeather says the return of a La Niña cycle could affect how much rain San Francisco receives, and when it will finally arrive.

Drought or drought-buster. See the rain and snowfall maps below for this coming winter.
Drought or drought-buster. See the rain and snowfall maps below for this coming winter. (Courtesy of Tim Lee)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — With the official start of the 2021-22 winter a little more than two months away, some residents of San Francisco may be eager for cooler weather to arrive and, hopefully, an end to our drought.

Specific, long-term weather predictions can help with planning outdoor activities best suited for the cooler temps. To help you plan ahead, the private weather company AccuWeather has released its 2021 winter weather forecast.

Daily forecasts for San Francisco are listed through the end of December. After that, AccuWeather lists the historical average temperature for the rest of the winter.

Find out what's happening in San Francisco with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Occasional rain is predicted between now and the end of the year, but less than normal. "The lack of early-season precipitation will allow the ongoing wildfire season to extend all the way into December, an unusually late end to the season," according to AccuWeather.

Once the new year hits, precipitation will remain elusive.

Find out what's happening in San Francisco with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Courtesy AccuWeather

Nationally, AccuWeather predicts an eventful winter similar to the 2020-21 season, which brought record-breaking snowfall and blackouts to some parts of the country.

Meteorologists also expect the return of La Niña, a weather phenomenon that occurs when the water near the equator of the Pacific Ocean is cooler than average. It will shape part of the overall weather patterns this winter, weather experts said.

The upcoming La Niña will be weaker than the one experienced last winter, in turn, opening up the door for other elements to factor into the winter forecast — especially during the second half of the season.

Unfortunately, La Niña will not signal major snowfall in the Sierra. Far northern California is expected to welcome a nice snowpack, potentially refilling some reservoirs in the spring.

Courtesy AccuWeather

This year, the polar vortex may also be weaker, according to AccuWeather.

This could result in colder air from the Arctic to slide southward into the U.S. before the official start of meteorological winter, which is on Dec. 1. The first official astronomical day of winter arrives on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Winter could pound the Northeast with a vengeance starting in mid-December before potentially intensifying in January, which could include a heightened risk for nor'easters and, yes, snowstorms at the tail end of the season.

Meanwhile, the winter weather will take its time arriving in the Southeast, with only mild temps in some place throughout December. Southerners, however, could be in store for a big dip in the temperature with the arrival of 2022, AccuWeather reports. Spells of rain and thunderstorms are expected so keep the rain gear handy.

In the Pacific Northwest, a wet winter is anticipated with plenty of snow in the mountains, AccuWeather reports. The early arrival of the winter storms will also spell an end to the active wildfire season for the region as rain and snow help to douse any flames.

To see how the weather is shaping up for the remainder of the country, click here.

Are you ready for the upcoming winter season? Tell us your plans in the comments section below.

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