San Diego Weather in December: What Is the Weather Like?

San Diego Weather in December

The banner photo for this article is from an Instagram post by @jasonbatesimagery, and the caption reads: “Love my San Diego summers, but really missing these winter sunsets! #sandiegoindecember.”

San Diego is famous for its near-perfect weather, but what about in December? For many parts of the country, December is one of the wettest, coldest months of the year. By contrast, San Diego weather in December is still quite mild and clear. While there could be rain, it is much less likely than it is in other parts of the country. 

If you want to get away from the cold wherever you are, think about taking a San Diego holiday. It is perfect because the weather in San Diego, California in December is much warmer and drier than most places. Below you will find the details of San Diego’s weather in the last month of the year.

What is the weather like in San Diego in December?

San Diego weather in December is relatively mild and sunny. There is cloud coverage, but that’s about it. When people ask, is it warm in San Diego in December? It’s a tough question to answer. What do you consider warm? Compared to a lot of other cities in the country, the weather in San Diego in December is warm.

Is December a good time to visit San Diego?

December weather in San Diego is relatively warm, dry, and mild. When you’re trying to escape the harsh conditions of snow and cold, it is one of the best places to visit. You can find snow in San Diego County, but you’ll have to go up to the mountains in the east. Whether you can’t stand the cold or just want a break from it, San Diego weather in December and January is a lot better than the vast majority of places in the country.

Temperature in December

What is the temperature in San Diego in December? The average low during the month is just 49 degrees and the average high is 66 degrees. There are typically only four days of rain every December. By contrast, there are two full weeks of clear skies and 73 percent sunshine all month.

This is what makes San Diego weather during Christmas so enticing. While some romanticize a white Christmas, there is no arguing a mild, sunny Christmas in San Diego. This offers plenty of things to do in North County San Diego. You can even go to the San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park in December. So the answer to the question, how cold does it get in San Diego in the winter? The answer is, well, not that cold at all.

Humidity in December

San Diego weather in December is also pretty dry compared to a lot of places. While the humidity is at its lowest in January, December is the second driest month of the year as far as humidity. It is just over 60 percent, making it one of the best places to do things outside. San Diego weather in December and January provides cool, crisp air with low humidity. With so many things to do in San Diego for adults, eating on restaurant patios is still quite enjoyable. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in San Diego during December.

Sunshine in December

There are 14 fully sunny days in San Diego during the month of December. Eight more are partly sunny. That provides 22 out of 31 days that are going to provide some sun for outdoor activities. 70 percent of the days in December provide sunshine for San Diego. The odds are, if you come to the city during the final month of the year you are likely going to get some sun. This makes it incredibly enticing for anyone looking to escape the snow and frigid cold. San Diego weather in December is mostly sunny with varying cloud coverage.

Wind in December

The wind is fairly constant in San Diego during the month of December. It remains between 7.6 and 8.0 miles per hour. This is a light breeze. Of course you will get a little more wind by the ocean, but if you are inland you should be able to eat outside or take a hike without worrying about the wind. It also creates a situation where you can go out onto the water in December and not become unbearably cold, a rare luxury for many in the rest of the country.

Rainfall in December

The weather in San Diego, California in December provides a low rainfall risk. When you are visiting the area at this time, there is only a four in 31 chance that you will experience rain. Of course the longer you spend in San Diego the more likely you are to get rained on, but overall if you want to do some outdoor activities in December you will be able to. If it rains one day, the odds that it will keep raining are pretty low. San Diego weather in December is mostly dry.

Clouds in December

There could, however, be a lot of cloud coverage. While you get sun when you come to San Diego during December, many of the days will be cloudy. It clears up in the afternoon, but most mornings are covered by what we call the marine layer. Throughout the month, 36 percent of the time San Diego is covered in clouds. Still this provides a cool temperature to exert yourself hiking, taking part in an extreme sport, or walking around town.

Ocean Temperature in December

Perhaps the most common question about the weather during this time is, can you swim in December in San Diego? While California is known for its cold waters, you can certainly still swim in December. It isn’t the coldest month for swimming. The temperature hangs around 59 degrees, but January through March is even colder. Choose a day that it’s hot out and San Diego weather in December will be warm enough for a brisk swim in the ocean.

Daylight in December

Throughout the month of December, San Diego gets about 10 hours of daylight, a decent amount of time to do what you want to do during the day. With many of these hours providing sunshine or dry cloud coverage, the weather in San Diego in December makes it very easy to enjoy whatever it is you’re doing in the area. The weather doesn’t dictate much about your plans.

San Diego is known for its weather, and the winter is no different. While the days are milder and there is less sunshine than usual, San Diego weather in December is comparably lovely to the rest of the country. Two whole weeks of sunshine make San Diego an amazing destination for anyone who wants to get out of the cold and enjoy Christmas by the beach. 

About the author: Ryan Beitler is a Southern California-based writer, journalist, and blogger.