Have you heard horror stories of the massive snow storms and below-zero winters back East? Or of the destructive tornados and sweltering humidity of the South? Maybe you’ve heard of the never-ending rain and gloom of the Pacific Northwest? Or of the beautiful, warm and breezy weather that graces the beaches of California? Well, you’re in Berkeley, so you can forget all that. Welcome to the land of mild weather. And fog.
Fog is an East Bay staple. It rolls in during the night and doesn’t burn off until around noon or later, so be warned: you may wish you’d forgone the knit sweater and knee-high boots come afternoon. Fog makes Bay Area weather as unpredictable as weather that stays within a 20-degree range all year long can be. Always dress warmly enough for the morning fog, but keep in mind that it might be a beautiful, sunny day by the time you get out of class. Jeans, a T-shirt and a sweater, or jacket like a Northface fleece will keep you prepared for all of the crazy sorts of drastic weather changes Berkeley will throw at you.
Flip-flops are perfect shoes nearly year-round with the exception of rainy winters and trips to San Francisco, which has consistently colder and windier forecasts than Berkeley. And even when it rains, heavy downpours tend to come in short and infrequent intervals, so most closed-toed shoes should hold up whether they’re rain boots or not.
Your wardrobe won’t change much from fall to winter or winter to spring, so don’t worry about not having the right clothes for Berkeley weather. If you own pants, some tops, and a few jackets, you’ll more than survive.
The averages listed below are merely that. Every year is slightly different. For example, in November 2011, students were out tanning on Memorial Glade thanks to unseasonably warm weather. Check the weather forecast every day to avoid unpleasant surprises like soaked shoes or chattering teeth. Layers are a good idea, especially during spring when the temperature can change significantly between the morning and afternoon. While summer days are usually sunny and hot, the cool evening fog can catch you off guard. Don’t let weather get in the way of enjoying your Cal experience so come prepared for Berkeley weather.