Sacramento, where it lies

The climate of Sacramento can be defined as Mediterranean, given that winters are mild and rainy and summers are hot and sunny. However, there are some differences in comparison with the typical Mediterranean climate: in winter, fog can form at night and in the early morning; in summer, there are strong diurnal temperature variations, so it is quite cool at night and hot during the day; the rainy period is shorter, so in autumn, in September and October, it still rarely rains.
The city is located on the 38th parallel, about 130 km (80 mi) away from the sea, in the valley that takes its name from the city itself and is closed between the coastal chains (California Coast Ranges) to the west and the Sierra Nevada to the east.
The average temperature ranges from 8 °C (46 °F) in December and January to 24 °C (75 °F) in July. Here are the average temperatures.
Sacramento - Average temperatures
Min (°C)457811131514131064
Max (°C)121618222731333331251812
Min (°F)394145465255595755504339
Max (°F)546164728188919188776454

Precipitation is not abundant: it amounts to 470 mm (18.75 in) per year, and most of it falls from November to March. Here is the average rainfall.
Sacramento - Average precipitation

In winter, in periods of good weather, the night temperature can drop to around freezing or slightly below. At night, fog can form, sometimes even dense, which dissolves during the warmest hours, though the weather remains cool and humid. When there is no fog, the temperature range is high, so that during the day the temperature can reach 18/20 °C (64/68 °F) even in winter.
There may also be periods of bad weather, with clouds and rains.
Cold spells are rare. The temperature drops very rarely below -4 °C (25 °F). However, it reached -5.5 °C (22 °F) in February 1989, -7.7 °C (18 °F) in December 1990, and -5.6 °C (22 °F) in December 2009. Snow is very rare: the last time, it snowed in February 1976, when 5 cm (2 in) of snow fell; more recently, there was a slight snowfall in December 2009.
In summer, from June to mid-September, it is hot and sunny. There are several very hot days, with highs around 37/38 °C (99/100 °F). Sometimes, they can exceed 40 °C (104 °F). In July 2017, 43 °C (109 °F) were reached.
Fortunately, in the afternoon there is usually a bit of breeze from the ocean, called "delta breeze" because it comes from the San Joaquin river delta, in San Francisco bay, where the coastal chains are interrupted.
Furthermore, the temperature range is considerable, so that the temperature almost always drops below 20 °C (68 °F) at night. Actually, sometimes at night, it can get cool even in the height of summer.


The sunshine amount in Sacramento is exceptional in summer, when in practice, the sky is always clear (in July, the sun shines as high as 98% of the time), while in winter, despite the aforementioned fog and bad weather periods, there is an acceptable number of sunshine hours. In one year, there are 3,600 hours of sunshine. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Sacramento - Sunshine

When to go

The best times to visit Sacramento are spring and autumn, to avoid the night-time cold, the fog and the rain of winter, as well as the summer heat. In particular, you can choose the months of April and October, bearing in mind that it is necessary to dress in layers because there are strong temperature differences between night and day.