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Fog Predictions??

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Humble, Texas
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Fog Predictions??

Maybe I didn't delve more deeply into past posts, but I didn't see anyone pose the question of when you normally experience the most fog during a given day. If we are flying in to SFO this coming Sunday, and plan to cross GGB mid-morning, come back across early afternoon, what are the chances for a semi-clear, picture(s)-almost-perfect day (the 10-day forecasts, at least, look decent as far as temps and no rain go)? Is there an accessible website that would give one an idea of what to expect in the way of fog, both around the city and off Point Bonita (where we will be during the noon hour)? Forgive my ignorance...I'm coming in from Texas, and in Texas, fog is more of a mental reference there.

San Jose, California
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for California
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1. Re: Fog Predictions??

Mornings and evennings are generally foggyer - fog burns off mid - morning and returns late afternoon or evenning. Generally speaking. However it is most heavy in the summer when inland places are hot (hot land mass meeting cold ocean). Sometimes the summer fog will stay all day. This time of year the Inland areas aren't really hot yet, so the fog doesn't form as much. Also, if the prevailing air currents shift so that we have an on - shore flow, the land "wins" and there won't be any fog at all.

So, you will probably see some fog but not as much as in summer and if there is fog, mid - day is your best bet for clear skies.

Baltimore
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2. Re: Fog Predictions??

Good morning. Coastal fog in Northern California is so different a phenomenon than in Texas. Your odds getting bright sunny weather mid-afternoon are good, but no guarantees. Fog typically develops late afternoon - early evening then burn back during the mid-morning. For sure, it will be thicker and more persistent near the bridge than further east inside the City.

Besides, views of the City shining in sunlight through wisps of fog make for spectacular photos.

Amazingly, it can be foggy at Point Bonita and clear at the bridge.

Yours is not the first TA question along this line. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60713-i30-k213587… Unfortunately, the answers are not as simple or clear as we might like.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Fog Predictions??

68%

Thousand Oaks...
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for Israel
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4. Re: Fog Predictions??

Unpredictable.

Biggest concern would be any sort of flight delays into SFO due to fog. Hopefully it's not an issue during your trip but it's always a possibility.

When visitors want a picture perfect day to me that means having the fog present. It kind of goes hand in hand.... SF = fog

Dr. Z

Humble, Texas
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5. Re: Fog Predictions??

I appreciate all the prompt responses, especially the actual percentage, AL Tippet (by your profile pic, I'm to assume that that knowledge was derived outside of Harvard Business School...touche'). No, I was not necessarily knocking the presence of fog, because, as a couple of you mentioned, a little fog in the right spots makes for spectacular pics (like you said, Dr. Z, if SF = fog, showing someone a picture with none in it may raise an eyebrow as to possibly tampering with, or photo shopping, it). Thanks to all, and we can't wait to begin our journey, which will take us to SF, then down the coast to Big Sur and back in a week. Have a great day!!

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Fog Predictions??

just go with the flow and things will work out. Did you see the video in the first TQ on the SF forum -- right side of this forum page. Please do

when Al says 68% what he is trying to say is that he does not have the foggiest idea :-)

Fog

BY CARL SANDBURG

The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

San Francisco
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7. Re: Fog Predictions??

Bottom Line:

No one knows.

This is a little early in the season for the kinds of fog that obscure the bridge. OTOH we had a bit of a warm spell last week and I was up at 3AM gratefully watching the fog roll in and breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the first fog horn. Fog, you see, in our natural AC.

Weather is something no one has any control over. Don't worry about stuff you can't change. In general we have fabulous weather.

San Francisco...
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8. Re: Fog Predictions??

It turns out there is a whole Wikipedia article about San Francisco fog. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Francisco_fog I guess it figures. :-)

I don't particularly know of a fog forecast service--I think often because fog is very localized so it's impossible to forecast accurately. It may be foggy in one neighborhood and not in another a few miles away. During summer you'll have more chances of fog, but even then, going 10 or 20 miles inland means hot and clear weather.

Generally around the middle of the day will be your best chances of fog free times--especially near the ocean or the bay where fog is most likely to happen. See the aerial picture of the San Francisco peninsula in the Wikipedia article. That can be a typical fog pattern where it creeps through the golden gate and over the bay and also covers the western neighborhoods in San Francisco. Though you might also get a day where it's relatively fog-free at ground level and the overcast is at a higher altitude where you get what some people call a "marine layer" of overcast.

If the reason for all this is to get good photos, you should realize that diffuse light (such as fog or overcast) is good for portraits since it gives more even lighting and doesn't make people have harsh shadows and show off little wrinkles and imperfections as much. Plus they aren't squinting uncomfortably and staring into a bright light. Take your opportunities while you can. :-) Also bright light can create blown-out highlights or overly dark shadows, so clear, harsh, bright light really isn't all that great for photography. Many people also consider the hours near dawn and dusk "golden hours" for photography since the light is more golden colored and less harsh or overly contrasty.

In any case go to the coastal areas near noon if you want the best chance of finding them fog free. You should expect fog or some overcast during some part of the day in some neighborhoods during this time of the year (and even more fog in San Francisco the more we get into summer season).

Have a good trip and enjoy the weather (fog or not) and don't forget your jacket, which I'm using my crystal ball to predict you'll use at some point during your trip to San Francisco. ;-)

San Francisco Bay
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9. Re: Fog Predictions??

Here is the now famous fog video "Adrift" by Simon Christen. It will show you why we all love our fog. It took years to make. By the way, most of next week is supposed to be really great weather. Perhaps after a few days, the fog will roll back in to show you what we mean

http://vimeo.com/69445362

San Frantastic
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10. Re: Fog Predictions??

I work out at the Ocean where the fog comes from (so to speak). There has been tangible fog of which to speak perhaps twice in the last few months. Yes, this is very unusual for San Francisco, but such is our benefit of the climate change that is wreaking havoc over most of the rest of the country.

This weekend is going to be gorgeous and warm. Perhaps a bit windy, but the wind will blow the clouds away and the sky will be flawlessly blue. I will bet anyone on this forum $50 that there will be nary a trace of fog.