Baker Beach

How To Know If You’re Day Will Be Fogged Out, Before You Leave Home

Monday January 26, 2015

I think every person in the Bay Area has had this experience: friends/family are in town, everyone is very excited to explore, and you think: “we should go get a photo taken in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.” You pack up the family, visitors dreaming of expansive orange bridges contrasting against lavendar-blue skies and sparkling water dotted with glowing sailboats (because, it’s such a nice day in the East Bay today, you all remark.)

Then you (finally) get there aaaaaaaand…there is no bridge to be seen. Visibility is at about 100 ft. You can kind of make out the base of the southern tower. San Francisco is fogged in. And it took a half hour to find parking and everyone is hungry and oh by the way it’s freezing and how about we try this again tomorrow, gang. (No one will want to do this again tomorrow.)

Or maybe you thought you’d go down to Fisherman’s Wharf to watch some 4th of July fireworks.

Or, it’s lovely in the Mission and wouldn’t a hike in Lands End be great?

Or, did anyone say beach day?

Let’s fix all this.

Here is how you figure out whether San Francisco (or Marin, or Point Reyes, or Sonoma, or Santa Cruz, etc) is fogged in, because the weather in your own neighborhood, even if you live a few miles away, is no indicator.


1. Check out’s Cloud Radar Map.

Here is the Cloud Radar Map for San Francisco, with the Weather In Motion option activated.

Pay attention to not only your destination, but to where the cloud cover is headed. It may be clear now, but is that the trend?


2. Find nearby webcams, and see what current conditions look like


There are plenty of webcams of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Here is the view from the Marina. (Also helpful if your plan is to go to the Marina or Crissy Field)

Another view of the bridge from the eastern approach.

A traffic cam view of the bridge.


Other SF destinations:

AT&T Park, if you’re planning on a Giants outing.

Lands End

San Francisco Bay

Fisherman’s Wharf

Ocean Beach

Twin Peaks

Fort Funston (near the San Francisco Zoo)


Other Bay Area destinations:

Muir Beach

Monterey Bay

Santa Cruz


Berkeley Hills

Point Reyes National Seashore

Bodega Bay

Healdsburg (Sonoma County)


Of course, another option is to embrace the fog. Chances are, your visitor may have never seen anything like a plume of fog roiling in over the Santa Cruz mountains and engulfing 101.

Happy daytripping!

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