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Buying Homes in the Bay Area: Which Neighborhood Has the Best Microclimate?

December 12 2018
December 12 2018

The Bay Area is renowned for having a robust economy and diverse culture unlike any place on earth. It also has numerous microclimates in the nine counties that make up the Bay Area. The city of San Francisco has its own variety of weather due to the more than 50 hills situated within the city limits. The unique topography and a neighborhood's proximity to the coast means weather can be significantly different for areas just a few miles apart. It is an added thing to consider when buying a home in the Bay Area. Your BarbCo Group agent wants you to have all the information you need to choose a home you will enjoy for many years to come. The following is some useful information about the many microclimates of the Bay Area.

The Bay Area of Northern California

There are no clearly established lines that define the Bay Area. Most sources agree that it is made up of nine counties: San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara. The cold California Current of the Pacific Ocean finds its way inland via gaps in the mountainous landscape. The microclimate phenomenon is most noticeable during the summer months when rising warm air from inland valleys combine with wind from the North Pacific High to create low pressures. This creates San Fransico's well-known fog and cool winds around the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco microclimates

The city's location, hills, and manmade structures all influence local weather. Because of its proximity to the ocean, San Francisco is typically cooler than areas further inland. The famous hills in the center of the city means actual temperatures can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. Mount Sutro and Mount Davidson are the two highest points in the city. They block much of the cool air from reaching the Noe Valley neighborhood. This same principle applies to the Mission District which is situated lower than Noe Valley.

While these areas experience warmer temperatures, Candlestick Point often experiences cold winds and fog even though it is further inland. The winds are channeled through the hills, making Candlestick Point one of the coldest neighborhoods in San Francisco. A thirty-degree temperature difference from a coastal South Beach neighborhood to an inland area can occur during summer.

Marin County weather

Situated just across the bay from San Francisco County, Marin County has about 260 sunny days every year. Rainfall for Marin is in line with much of the United States at approximately 37 inches annually. Summers and winters are mild with highs in the mid-seventies during warmer months and winter low temperatures in the forties.

San Mateo climate

South of San Francisco, San Mateo offers stunning natural beauty and low unemployment. While the US average individual income is about $28,500 per year, the average annual income for San Mateo residents is $46,780. The area has mild, dry summers and mild, damp winters with about 21 inches of rain annually. Located about 20 miles from San Francisco, much of San Mateo is blocked from the cold California Current by Montara Mountain. However, the San Bruno Gap and the Crystal Springs Gap allow some strong winds and fog to reach the area during summer.

We know there are many things to consider when choosing your next home. BarbCo Group agents love the Bay Area and have the knowledge and experience to help you determine which neighborhood is best suited for you. We are ready to help and advise you from the start of your home search and at each step of the process to closing. Contact us today.


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