Two SF Bay Area Airports Had a 45-Degree Temperature Difference Between Them on Saturday

Spanning just 38 miles between them, Half Moon Bay and Livermore temperatures recorded Saturday show just how influencing the Bay Area’s microclimates are — especially during a heat wave.

Those who’ve ever visited San Francisco or are fortunate enough to live here can attest to the city’s microclimates. On the same day, it can, at the exact same time, be into the upper-80s around downtown or the Mission District… and well into the low-60s west of the city near Ocean Beach and the Sunset districts. Come nightfall? Karl The Fog will cool us all down until the morning sun.


But SF’s proclivity for holding multitudes re: daily temperatures isn’t a unique quality in the Bay Area. The entire region has among the most diverse and densely climate gradients and variations anywhere in North America.

And that quirk was on clear display yesterday when there was a recorded 45-degree Fahrenheit difference between two small Bay Area airports located less than 40 miles from each other.

“Few places have such big temperature differences in such short distances,” San Francisco Bay Area meteorologist Jan Null tweeted Saturday, July 22nd, while the region was wrapped in heat (and cool) extremes, as evident by a stark temperature difference between the small Half Moon and Livermore airports. “This afternoon there was a 45° F difference between Half Moon Airport and Livermore Airports.”

As the crow flies, both airports sit just 38 miles from each other horizontally. Moreover: the two airports sit at nearly the same elevation, too.

Yet, because of the SF Bay Area’s unique, coastal conditions — everything from fog and frost to wind speeds and humidity can vary widely between two metros within the 6,900-square-mile slice of NorCal — such large swings in temperature can happen.

The map also shows San Francisco’s inherent microclimates; Ocean Beach was around 61 degrees Fahrenheit, while SoMa and the Mission District were about 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

For those either new to SF or visiting here for the first time, let this be a reminder that you will need to bring a jacket (maybe even a sweater too) when you set off in board shorts outside the city… even if you’re only traveling a less than 45 minutes away. 

Feature image: Courtesy of Facebook via Five Rivers Aviation

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