No. It doesn’t snow in San Diego. Although snowfall has been recorded in the city on rare occasions, such type of weather is not common at all. To be precise, the city experienced snowfall for about 7 times in over 125 years. 

What are winters like in San Diego? 

Winters in San Diego are very mild and extreme weather conditions arise rarely. Temperature can go as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10°C) to as high as 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit (19°C). Nights are cooler with average temperature ranging from 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4°C) to 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit (12°C). 

Winters in San Diego are characterized by frequent rainfall, starting from December and lasting up till March. Snowfall is very rare and occurs once in a blue moon. San Diego gets a fair share of sunlight during the winter months- one of the reasons why it is the main attraction for snowbirds. 

When doesn’t it snow in San Diego? 

San Diego is located on the Pacific coast of California and has a Mediterranean type climate. It is characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The lack of snowfall in San Diego can be attributed to the city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. 

San Diego has a low elevation because it is present close to the sea level. The Pacific Ocean contributes to keeping the temperature moderate in the city, hindering snow formation.  

When was the last time San Diego got snow? 

How often does San Diego get snow? Well, snowfall is a very infrequent activity in the city with only a few instances in the past 100 years. Here’s a brief look into the past snowfalls recorded in the city:

  • 2008- Very little snow showers were witnessed, but it wasn’t measurable snow. 
  • 1990- A snowstorm was recorded in San Diego on January 17, 1990. 
  • 1987- The dream of white Christmas came true on December 24, 1987. 
  • 1967- It snowed almost 2 two feet on Palomar Mountain and between 12 to 18 inches in higher Lagunas on December 13, 1967. 
  • 1949- A snowfall ranging from 4 to 8 inches was recorded in San Diego on January 10, 1949. 
  • 1946- Slight snow flurries were recorded in San Diego on February 11, 1946. 
  • 1937- Very small amount of snowfall was also seen in 1937 at Lindbergh Field during the morning time of January 21. 

Where does it snow in San Diego?

Want to experience snowfall in San Diego? To your good news, there are great spots present within close proximity to the city. Here’s a list of best places to see snow in San Diego:

Mount Julian 

Present at a 1.5 hours distance from the city, Mount Julian is a great way of enjoying your winter season. The mountain records almost 22 inches of snowfall every year. This place is best known for its apple orchards and you won’t regret visiting here. 

Palomar Mountain 

Within 1 hour 52 minutes distance you can find the scenic Palomar Mountain, filled with awe-inspiring views. It snows in this region from November to April. If you want to experience snowfall during your stay in San Diego, Palomar Mountain is always a great idea. 

Mount Laguna

It’s just a 1 hour and 13 minutes drive from San Diego to Mount Laguna. The mountain is part of Cleveland National Forest and offers great hiking spots. 

Winter activities in San Diego

San Diego may not have snowfall, but it offers plenty of winter activities for enthusiasts. Here is a list of activities that will keep you hooked during your time there!


Since there are no skiing places in San Diego, people will have to look for alternative options nearby. One of the best places for skiing is the Big Bear Lake, located at a 2.5 to 3 hours drive from the city. There are 2 popular ski resorts here: Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. The West Resort, North Resort, and East Resort in Mountain High isn’t a bad option either. 

Ice Skating 

Various ice skating rinks could be seen present in the city during the winter months. These temporary rinks are set up during the winter months, ranging from November to January. Some popular ice skating rinks in San Diego include the Viejas Outlet Center, Hotel del Coronado, and Rady Children’s Ice Rink at Liberty Station. 


San Diego’s mild winters are great for hiking activities. Just go to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for a good hike or enjoy the panoramic views present at Cowles Mountain. 

Beach activities 

While we do not prefer swimming in San Diego’s beaches during the winter months, you can just stroll around along the shore. Take a leisurely walk along the beaches or indulge in beachcombing activities to find some hidden gems. 


Plenty of golf courses are available in the city, many of which are available all year-round. Some of the notable places in this regard include the Balboa Park Golf Course, Maderas Golf Club, and the Torrey Pines Golf Course. 

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Things to do in San Diego