California weather

Read our complete guide to the weather in California.

Below are the temperatures expected today at popular destinations in California. Select a destination to compare today's forecast with average weather conditions.

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The weather guide for California (Los Angeles) shows long term weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia) & today's weather forecast provided by meteoblue. Find out more about our data sources.

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

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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 © Joey Lax-Salinas - Flickr Creative Commons
The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California © Joey Lax-Salinas - Flickr Creative Commons

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.

More about California

Which is the hottest month in California?

The hottest time of year in Los Angeles, California is normally August. Expect maximum daytime temperatures to reach 30°C with moderate heat and humidity.

Which month has the most rain in California?

In terms of rainfall, January is usually the wettest month in Los Angeles, California with 80mm on average. There are normally 5 days in January with some rain.

When is it sunniest in California?

The sunniest time of year in Los Angeles, California is normally August with bright sunshine on average for 83% of daylight hours; that's 11 hours of sunshine per day.

What is the flight time to California from the UK?

The flight time to California from the UK is typically 11 hours.

What is the time difference between California and the UK?

The time difference between California and the UK is GMT-8 hours.

What is the main language spoken in California?

The main language spoken in California is English.

Learn a language for California with Busuu*, Lingoda* and Rocket Languages*.

What is the currency in California?

The currency in California is the US Dollar (USD).

Send money to California with XE Money Transfers*, World Remit* and Wise*.

Which plugs are used in California?

California uses electrical plug type A + B (120 Volts).

Which side of the road do they drive on in California?

They drive on the right side of the road in California.

Do you need a visa for California?

Yes, UK passport holders do need a visa to enter California.

Check USA visa requirements for all passport holders with VisaHQ* and iVisa.com*.

Compare California weather with the USA

Below the California weather chart shows average maximum daytime temperature for California, USA (Los Angeles) and the USA (Washington).

Maximum daytime temperature (°C)

California, USA (Los Angeles)
USA (Washington)
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Feb
Mar
Apr
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Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

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

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