California weather

Check on the weather in California before you book your holiday. Whatever kind of trip you are planning, take a look at today's temperature, the outlook for tomorrow and what the weather is usually like at this time of year. The California weather guide shown below is for Los Angeles.

Metric (°C / mm)  |  Imperial (°F / inches)

More about California

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California weather overview

California has an unusual Mediterranean climate which gets warmer and drier the further south you go. The state's extreme southeast witnesses hardly any rainfall and conditions are semi-desert with temperatures soaring in the summer months: the aptly named Death Valley records some of the highest temperatures in the world!

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA © John Arnold
The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA © John Arnold

The coast, where San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles are situated, has coolish summers with frequent fog and mild, rainy winters. Rain also falls heavily in the Sierra Nevada range and the mountains which back the coast; this turns to snow on the higher peaks and gives California its reputation as a place where you can ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon.

You should, however, take care in the mountains as sudden, heavy snowstorms can occur. Another climatic hazard is urban smog around Los Angeles which is a mixture of fog and pollution trapped by a blanket of coastal warm air. However, overall, California is a delightful place to visit and deserves its nickname 'the sunshine state'.

What to pack for California weather

Take light clothes for visiting southern California in the summer, add a few wraps if you are going to the coast and much warmer clothes for trips to the mountains. Take fairly warm clothing in the winter when you should be prepared for the occasional cold snap, and rain. Be aware that different parts of California often register America's hottest and coldest temperatures within a single day - over 55°C (120°F) in Death Valley, close to freezing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains - so pack appropriately for where you are going.

California weather by month

Check the weather in California for a particular month by selecting from the list below.

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