What’s cool is that San Francisco does get snow occasionally and there is great photographic evidence. We nearly saw snow last week with temperatures dipping below freezing in San Francisco.
Here’s is an excerpt from SF Ballet’s article:
by the San Francisco Ballet
So, why does San Francisco so rarely see snow? The answer, says the California Academy of Science’s Curator of Geology Dr. Peter Roopnarine, might surprise a city that’s affectionately mocked for its chilly climate and enveloping fogs: we just don’t get cold enough.
San Francisco has this in common with most of the Pacific northwest coast, says Dr. Roopnarine, because the ocean controls our climate: “Land masses change temperature much more quickly than does water, and hence inland areas have more variable climate. Waters off San Francisco are cooler than air temperatures inland during summer, and as that inland air heats up, cool air is pulled in off the ocean creating our famous summer fogs. Similarly, during winter as temperatures fall inland, our ocean offshore moderates our temperature.”
Judging from these images of San Francisco’s past, snow in this city seems to be getting less and less frequent as the years pass. The last time San Francisco saw a “true” snowstorm was back in 1976, when a maximum of five inches fell over the city. Before that, records show significant snowfalls in 1962 and 1951, and 19th-century flurries just five years apart in 1887 and 1882.
“If you hike, ski, or snowboard in the snow-capped mountains this season, remember that you are in one of California’s most important sources of water: annual snowpack in the Sierra Nevada provides about 30% of California’s water and 85% of the water in the Bay Area.”
Read the full SF Ballet article here:
The whole point of this SF Ballet article is to get you to go see the SF Ballet’s Nutcracker and its snow dance seen this holiday season. We agree. If you or your kids haven’t seen the Nutcracker live yet, it’s time. It’s a classic and will stay in your brain forever.
Also, if you haven’t been to the California Academy of Arts and Science in San Francisco, you’re missing out. They have an indoor snow flurries right now and live reindeer.