Palo Alto, California 

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Climate in Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto, CA has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers. Average daily temperatures range from 42°F in January to 78°F in August. The area receives an average of 17 inches of rainfall annually, with the rainiest months being December through February. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Palo Alto rarely experiences extreme weather conditions such as blizzards or tornadoes. In fact, snow is rare and only occurs a few times during the winter season. Summers are usually dry and sunny with occasional light showers or thunderstorms during the late afternoon and early evening hours.

Palo Alto, California gets 17 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.

Palo Alto averages 0 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.

On average, there are 261 sunny days per year in Palo Alto. The US average is 205 sunny days.

Palo Alto gets some kind of precipitation, on average, 61 days per year. Precipitation is rain, snow, sleet, or hail that falls to the ground. In order for precipitation to be counted you have to get at least .01 inches on the ground to measure.

Weather Highlights

Summer High: the July high is around 80 degrees
Winter Low: the January low is 41
Rain: averages 17 inches of rain a year
Snow: averages 0 inches of snow a year


The annual BestPlaces Comfort Index for Palo Alto is 8.8 (10=best), which means it is more comfortable than most places in California.

9.8 / 7.5

Summer   /   Winter
August, July and September are the most pleasant months in Palo Alto, while January and December are the least comfortable months.

Climate Averages
  Palo Alto, CaliforniaUnited States
  17.3 in.38.1 in.
  0.0 in.27.8 in.
  60.6 days106.2 days
  261 days205 days
  30 ft.2443 ft.


Many people confuse weather and climate but they are different. Weather is the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere is over long periods of time.

Weather is how the atmosphere is behaving and its effects upon life and human activities. Weather can change from minute-to-minute. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure.

Climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a place. Climate can mean the average weather for a particular region and time period taken over 30 years. Climate is the average of weather over time.

July is the hottest month for Palo Alto with an average high temperature of 79.8°, which ranks it as cooler than most places in California. In Palo Alto, there are 6 comfortable months with high temperatures in the range of 70-85°. The most pleasant months of the year for Palo Alto are June, September and August.

In Palo Alto, there are 13.0 days annually when the high temperature is over 90°, which is cooler than most places in California.

December has the coldest nighttime temperatures for Palo Alto with an average of 40.2°. This is warmer than most places in California.

In Palo Alto, there are 7.1 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below freezing, which is warmer than most places in California.

In Palo Alto, there are 0.0 days annually when the nighttime low temperature falls below zero°, which is about average compared to other places in California.

Humidity in Palo Alto is generally quite low and comfortable. There are few days during the summer when the humidity becomes unpleasant. The most humid months (but still comfortable) are August, July and September.

February is the wettest month in Palo Alto with 3.5 inches of rain, and the driest month is July with 0.0 inches. The wettest season is Spring with 58% of yearly precipitation and 1% occurs in Autumn, which is the driest season. The annual rainfall of 17.3 inches in Palo Alto means that it is about average compared to other places in California.

January is the rainiest month in Palo Alto with 10.2 days of rain, and July is the driest month with only 0.1 rainy days. There are 60.6 rainy days annually in Palo Alto, which is about average compared to other places in California. The rainiest season is Spring when it rains 50% of the time and the driest is Autumn with only a 2% chance of a rainy day.

There is rarely any recorded snowfall in Palo Alto, ranking it as one of the least snowy places in California. Any measurable snowfall is a rare occurance in Palo Alto.

  • Annual Rainfall (US Avg: 36.5")
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    Reviews for Palo Alto    8 Reviews
    Wonderful place to live, except for the cost of li - 4/2/2009
    The Bay Area in general, but Palo Alto specifically provides many of the qualities sought by many; the climate is beautiful, there is access to cultural and recreational... Read More

    Start Your Review of Palo Alto

    Cost of Living - 11/24/2008
    Very... Read More

    Public transit - 12/19/2007
    VTA and SamsTrans and Caltrain all provide good service and most times frequency of service is... Read More

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