Cloudiness in San Diego

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The Sunny City by the Sea
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No matter the season, vacationers can be quite confident that overcast conditions won’t interfere with their plans to see everything San Diego has to offer.
Todd Sarouhan
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
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How Cloudy Is San Diego?

Half Way Down the Trail to Blacks BeachYoung Surfer on the Face of a Large Wave at Tourmaline

San Diego is known for its sunshine, though it’s not immune to cloudy days either. With a mix of sunny skies and light cloud cover for most of the year, most visitors find the weather to be favorable no matter the season.

Many vacationers worry about seasonal events in San Diego’s weather such as “May Gray” and “June Gloom” when they plan their trips. These refer to San Diego’s tendency for more overcast days during these two months. However, the data doesn’t lie: San Diego experiences far more sunny days than it does cloudy ones, even when accounting for May and June.

As you can see from the chart, San Diego, as reported from San Diego International Airport - Lindbergh Field in the coastal area, is blessed with, on average, 146 clear days per year. A further 117 days are classified as “partly cloudy” during daylight hours. Even these days typically get enough sun to allow for outdoor activities like dining at sidewalk cafes or heading out to the San Diego Bay on a sportfishing expedition.

That’s certainly not bad, especially when you consider that San Diego experiences well above average rates of sunshine. The county’s reputation for its pleasant weather and incredible climate is well-earned, and there’s very little chance of getting unexpectedly rained out or having to cancel any planned activities due to overcast weather.

San Diego Coastal Cloudiness Weather Chart

Mean # of Days: Clear, Partly Cloudy & Cloudy
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
CLEAR
(DAYS)
12
10
11
10
8
9
13
15
15
14
15
14
PT CLOUDY
(DAYS)
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
12
10
10
8
8
CLOUDY
(DAYS)
11
10
11
10
11
9
5
4
6
8
7
10

When is Cloud Cover Most Frequent?

You can be fairly confident of being greeted with clear and sunny skies no matter when you choose to visit San Diego. However, some months have more overcast days than others.

May and June are the months most likely to experience thin cloud cover and haze in the mornings. Even though April, May and June are classified as “partly cloudy months,” they still average 8 to 10 days each month of completely clear and sunny skies! Even occasional gloomy weather doesn’t stick around for long, and there’s lots to do and see no matter how it looks outside.

Kid Surfing at Tourmaline Series 3 of 3
Kid Surfing at Tourmaline Series 3 of 3

Keeping Busy When It’s Overcast

If you happen to visit during a cloudier week, don’t worry! There’s still lots to do in San Diego when the sun isn’t out.

The city is filled with museums, especially in Balboa Park, which has over a dozen museums and attractions on the property. Some of the best ways to spend your time indoors include learning about human history at the San Diego Museum of Us, watching a movie about the majesty of the natural world at The Fleet Science Center with IMAX, and admiring stunning artwork at the The San Diego Museum of Art and Museum of Photographic Arts.

Even families with kids can stay occupied on cloudy days by choosing relevant activities from our list of 19 Fun Things to Do in San Diego with Kids. These include visiting the New Children’s Museum, learning about marine life at Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and having high-octane fun GoKart Racing at K1 Speedway. With so much to do, you’ll hardly notice the weather!

San Diego Weather Forecast

August
68°F / 83°F
Sunny in August
September
66°F / 82°F
Sunny in September
October
61°F / 81°F
Sunny in October

When is Cloud Cover Least Frequent?

Many Surfers at Tourmaline Surf Park
Many Surfers at Tourmaline Surf Park

Statistically speaking, August until the end of each year in December are the months with the most clear days. You can expect for nearly half of those months to have clear blue skies.

The next best months for clear blue skies are the months of January through April. These months offer a mixed bag of clear days and partly cloudy days with each month featuring about a third of its days classified as either clear or partly cloudy.

The final third of each of those months in the winter and spring are classified as cloudy.

This Month's Forecast
66°F / 81°F
Sunny in July
Aug
68°F / 83°F
Sunny in August
Sep
66°F / 82°F
Sunny in September
Oct
61°F / 81°F
Sunny in October

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