Why San Francisco is So Foggy and a Look into the Giants Baseball Stadium


Autumn is probably the warmest season of the year for San Francisco. It's when that thick gray blanket of fog that stubbornly hovers over the city relents and rolls back to allow the sun to take its turn to dominate the skies for a few precious months.


I'm heading to San Francisco this week to visit family members, and for this trip as opposed to my July trip where I was packing wool coats, scarves sweaters and thick leggings, I will be packing a summer dresses, and lots of them.


People often wonder why San Francisco is so cold and foggy in the summers. In fact, it often seems like San Francisco is at its coldest when the rest of the nation is suffering from some horrendous heat wave. This inverse relationship is probably a coincidence, however, heat in other parts of California does play a significant factor in producing fog in San Francisco. The majestic cloudy phenomenon is created when the hot air mass from the Central Valley (middle of California) clashes with the frigid air blowing from the Pacific Ocean, producing massive condensation that billows through the Golden Gate and over the hills of San Francisco. The hotter it is in the Central Valley, the more likely it is that San Francisco will be cold and under a thick layer of fog. In fact, this year's fog banks were unusually large and deep - sometimes as much as 2,800 feet thick.


This is a picture of the San Francisco Giant's stadium in mid-July - that's right in July! While records were breaking across the nation for the hottest July on record, San Francisco was suffering from one of its coldest summers in recent memory.


Lou the Giant's mascot comes out to excite the crowd. On this day he was throwing out favors to baseball fans. Can you guess what it was? I'll give you a hint: It's not popcorn or peanuts.


Lou was throwing out Giant's scarves to the crowd, that's right those fuzzy long pieces of cloth that you wrap around your neck to keep you warm. It was THAT cold!


Also popular was the hot cocoa guy. Can you imagine having hot chocolate in the middle of summer and perhaps thinking that this wasn't enough to warm you up?


Of course, it was 55 F that evening, and everyone was bundled up.


Despite the frigid weather, every visit to the Giant's baseball stadium is exciting and when there are fireworks it is purely magical. The fireworks show is perhaps the most spectacular close-up light show I have ever observed. I've been to a couple of them and each and every time it just takes my breath away. Because it is so close, it often feels like the fireworks show is happening just for you. If you are in town and even somewhat follow baseball, this place is worth a visit.

A special thanks for one of my best friends Gloria for providing tickets to this game, which was very appropos given that the San Francisco Giants were playing the New York Mets.  On this evening the Giants won, but the next night the Mets won, so there we're even. A little rivalry never hurts. 

54 comments:

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

When we finally visited San Francisco as a family we did our due diligence and knew that fall was the best time of year to visit. We had a great time and didn't have to pack the parkas :)

Mari said...

Lovely San Francisco. I miss the fall breeze. Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories.

Have a blessed evening!

Asha @ FSK said...

Have an awesome time in SF, Christine!!! :)) HUGS and I'll see you when you are back :)

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Great photos of SF!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Great photos. I love those brisk days and thick sweaters.

Bridgett said...

My husband and I love to escape to SF for a long weekend to beat the heat from where we live. Plus, we never tire of the city. Enjoy your visit.

Kay Heritage said...

Have a great trip, Christine! I love SF and miss the cold breezes and water! It rarely gets that cold in Savannah, GA!

Foodessa said...

Good to know that the next time I plan to head for San Franciso I shall be reminded of our new weather girl Christine coaxing us to enjoy the Fall sunshine splendour ;o)

The last time I headed over there was sometime in August...and yes it was foggy and chilly. Great memories nonetheless ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Thank you for the great information about the weather in SF. That's some thick fog at 2,800 feet thick.

I've been fascinated by weather patterns and troughs since we lived in the islands and I helped my husband put together local weather report (the weather channel doesn't cover the Bahamas) for cruising boaters.

Giant Stadium is very impressive. I feel as if I were there with you. Great photos Christine.
Sam

Simply Life said...

oh I'd love to visit san fran!

La Table De Nana said...

I would love to visit!

From the Kitchen said...

My heart truly is in San Francisco (eldest son lives there). I love the fog. My first experience with it was while sipping a Mai Tai (my first) at the Top of the Mark. The fog rolled in and soon covered the city. It was eerie and beautiful. Thanks for the memories and have a wonderful visit.

Best,
Bonnie

Chef E said...

We love it when we get tickets for games and stuff- when I was home last year, we got to attend a Rangers game and it turned out Pudge Rodrigez was playing and they played for him!

Cocina Savant said...

Cool facts about San Fransisco. O can definitely say I did not know that was why they are known for their fog. As for hot cocoa in July, I would expect to need that at the North Pole in July instead of California. When we head to California next San Fran is definitely on the agenda.

high low said...

Thanks for the glimpse into Giants stadium! My hubby would definitely have preferred San Fran's weather vs our 100F summer days!

Trix said...

What I wouldn't have given for some of that weather as I suffered through the disgusting East Coast summer! How funny - a scarf for 55 degree weather! I think I would have been happy in a t-shirt.

White Hot Oven said...

Oh... my Mets are terrible :( Glad to hear they won the next night.

I love that picture of the fireworks.. gorgeous!

Cannot wait for another trip to SF.

bellini valli said...

I can't wait to be in SF again in November. Being delayed at the airport is just a common occurence that time of the year, but so worth it to visit my favourite city.

sweetlife said...

Oh great post, I love the pic of the guy lugging the hot cocoa, I have visited SF once and I can't wait to go back..

sweetlife

5 Star Foodie said...

Have a terrific time in SF! It's a wonderful city to visit especially this time a year!

A Canadian Foodie said...

We were there last year in AUgust... and it was cold. Lauren lives in Palo Alto where it is always sunny. She was originally looking in San Fran, but is so glad to be where she is at. Loves it there. Your shots reminded me of our trip there last summer (10 whole days) and I really have to get back. She has been home a few times, since, so there is always somewhere else to go... but, I still have a LOT of unfinished business there!
:)
Valerie

Joanne said...

I've never been to SF during the summer, but in October, the weather was glorious! I think it was in the 80s while I was there...unseasonably hot but just perfect in my opinion! The baseball game sounds like so much fun! It reminds me of the days when my dad used to get Mets tickets for games in May...we were always SO cold!

Emily said...

san francisco sounds lovely. in all honesty, i am a true fall girl at heart. i love sweater weather and layering clothes much more than the blistering temps of July and August in the midwest. I think San Fran and I would get along just fine! :-)

Barbara said...

First of all, it's such a lovely city and sheer heaven for foodies!
(And all that lovely seafood too)

And I must admit, I always think of SF as being pretty much in the 60's or 70's year round. I'm certain there are variations (i.e. when you were there) but for the most part, I love their weather.

Glad you had fun at the game and the hot cocoa man is a hoot!

Ingrid De Villiers said...

I didn't know these facts about San Francisco...interesting! I would love to visit this city one day!
I :)

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates said...

I definitely want to go to San Francisco some day! So it is good to know Fall is the time to go!

I was scouring your site the other day to see where to go eat in Boston and Cape Cod. If you have any advise on that, please let me know at h_t007@ymail.com. I like for everything we do to be a "local experience" no matter if high end or low end when we travel!

Stella said...

Hey Christine, I didn't know the reason for San Fransisco's fog-that's kind of neat that the weather is so different there in comparison to the rest of California.
Oh, and I'm not a sports person:(, but the stadium looks great (smile).

OysterCulture said...

Great reminders about what makes this town so special.

Have a fun magical trip on your next visit.

El said...

55 freezing? we should bring a few SF locals up to VT for a few days in February. Have a great time on your trip!

Kim said...

Whew! I hear ya on the cold summer in San Francisco. My husband and I vacationed there during the 4th of July and had to buy winter coats, stocking hats and gloves. We enjoyed our trip immensely, but it sure was cold and windy! Hope you're having a wonderful time.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I'm heading there in October, so hopefully that will manage to extend my summer just a bit!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Hubby and I really want to visit San Fransisco one of these days. Great pictures!
*kisses* HH

tasteofbeirut said...

I remember many a time freezing my b.. off in San Fransisco especially in the sunset area where my brother lives; I remember only one visit where it was nice and that was the Fall.

Claudia said...

I remember seeing Willie Mayes (spell?) steal home decades ago in the old Giant Stadium. I lived in NYC but became a secret Giants fan!

John Dryzga said...

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"

-Mark Twain

Never the less, I love the city.

Sara said...

I never knew that about San Francisco! What a cool phenomenon that it's cool when/because everywhere else is hot. Who knew?! Thanks for the weather lesson! I love learning stuff like that.

I also love cold summer night baseball games. I go to a few games at the beginning of the season and stop going mid-May. Then I start going again in September. I've got a Cardinals fleece blanket and a warm red hoodie! And hot chocolate? Yes please!

Sophie said...

Lovely & fab pictures of San Francisco!! I hope you have a great time over there!

My Taste Heaven said...

love the photos! always wanted to go to San Francisco!!!

Cathy said...

Oh, I do love San Francisco, the smell of the ocean, and the sound of seals barking along the wharf. I love it any time of year. Beautiful photo, Christine.

nancy at good food matters said...

I recall going to a ballgame at Candlestick in July 1999, and being so chilled. Coldest I'd ever felt watching baseball! It was in the fifties, no doubt, and the fog just poured into the stadium.

I have always loved my visits to San Francisco, and enjoy your beautiful posts and photos of the Bay area.
Thanks, Christine!

Debinhawaii said...

Great pictures! I learned the hard way how cold the summers are in SF--I went once in July and was woefully unprepared with the warm clothes. ;-)
Have a fun trip this week!

lisaiscooking said...

Now I know where I need to visit in July! Sounds like the perfect fix for the Texas heat.

Penny said...

I enjoy San Francisco no matter what the weather and a trip to Napa is a bonus. Enjoy your family!

Chow and Chatter said...

have loads of fun hope you are getting some free flights with all the coast to coast flights you do LOL

VeggieGirl said...

I miss San Francisco - I absolutely LOVED it when when I was there this past June. Maybe you and I will be there at the same time?? Or at least have schedules that match up in NYC?? Please?? haha ;) Miss you!

Maggie S said...

My husband is a huge baseball fan. I think he will be interested in this new information. Now that I know it could be cool and comfortable in the summer, I will put SF on my dream vacation list.

Velva said...

This reminds me of an old saying..."the coldest winter I have ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco"

Enjoy your trip home! Enjoy the sunshine and the warmth of the California sun.

Gulmohar said...

Feel like visiting SFO again after seeing your post :-)

sophia said...

ah, that's why they say the coldest winters are in SF's summer. hahaha! Thanks for explaining why to me though, because I've always wondered about that.

Sigh. Dying to visit SF again...which I will for the Foodbuzz FEST! You going?!

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

Wow, I'm smiling after visiting your blog! We used to live in SFO and I'm still in love with the place. My husband and I almost broke up when we had to move out of the city 'cos of his work. Your post took me back to some of my favorite places thr.
Glad to have found you!

Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog said...

I really enjoyed all the landscape about SF and as a sport lover love stadiums more with a hot cocoa :)

All the best,

Gera

theUngourmet said...

Such fun baseball photos! We had an unusually cool summer here as well. Hmm. What's up with that?!

Lori said...

I just love San Francisco. If it wasnt for earthquakes and all I probably would live there.

How cool to go to the game. Very exciting. It does seem so funny to see people wearing hoodies in July.

Chef E said...

I hope we make it back to this area again soon...I would take their weather over ours now and again...on to the pasta post below!