Golden Gate Bridge Weather and What to Wear
The forces of nature collide to create the Golden Gate Bridge weather patterns. When you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, you’re 220 feet above the surface of San Francisco Bay, right in the middle of a narrow opening in the mountainous Coast Range that links the Pacific Ocean and California’s massive Central Valley. (Jump to 1:57 in the video below to see the Golden Gate Bridge weather this couple encountered!)
Strong winds rush in each direction through the Golden Gate as the atmosphere adjusts to the different temperatures and air pressures of the land and ocean.
Strong tides also flow in and out of the Golden Gate each day, mixing fresh water from big rivers with the turbulent salt water of the Pacific Ocean. The water in the Bay and Ocean can be different temperatures, and the air above the water can be different temperatures as well. These temperature variations and the direction of the daily winds bring in or push back the fog each morning and afternoon.
Why do we go through all this Golden Gate Bridge weather science explanation?
Always assume that your walk will turn cold and windy, even in the summer. Bring layers of clothing you can comfortably add or remove based on the fast-changing temperatures and winds. It doesn’t always cool off, but the effect is common.
In summer??? Mark Twain is wrongly quoted as having said, “I never spent a winter as cold as last summer in San Francisco!” Twain quote or not, the summer months can produce some of the foggiest and coldest days on the Golden Gate Bridge as the wind races in from the ocean, especially in the afternoon. In the video below the visitors start the trip in fog and end up under blue skies!
The warmest months for Golden Gate Bridge weather, on average? September and October, as the summer fog abates in autumn. But they’re also the months in which we are most likely to get our first rains. So bring those layers!
Bring a hat and sunscreen. Even if it’s cold and cloudy, being outdoors too long in Northern California can produce sunburns. Two of our editors speak from the experience of painful blisters as kids, back before we became your all-wise and all-knowing guides to Sausalito.
If you visit in the rain, the Golden Gate Bridge weather does not affect walkers or cars. You can wear your rain suit and walk across, but rainy days on the Bridge often have enough wind to turn an umbrella into the shape of a huge letter “Y”!