If you're going to San Francisco

SF Dopers, I need you. I’m writing a story that takes place in the wonderful city of SF, and I need to know a few things as I have never been there myself.

The first thing is, does it ever snow in San Francisco? Has it ever snowed in there?

I might update this post as I think of / run into any more questions. All of your help is greatly appreciated as I want to do this city justice.

It very rarely snows in San Francisco. There has been recorded snow 11 times in the last 150 years.

Although it rarely snows in San Francisco, you should be sure to wear flowers in your hair.

Why/how are you writing a story that takes place in a city you’ve never been to? How would that even work?

And there’s [del]gentle[/del] homeless people there.

The weather is very changeable, it can go from sunny to foggy/cold and back very quickly.

Summer can be colder than winter in some parts.

It doesn’t snow often in San Francisco, only about 6 or 7 times in recorded history, but it can snow. It’s more common elsewhere in the Bay Area, at higher elevations. Places like the Berkley Hills and Santa Cruz mountains get snow almost every year.

Thank you for the helpful answers :smiley:

Because I wish to live in SF one day. Right now, I have no money or means to move there. But I keep on dreaming. In my story, my main character is basically what I wish I could be/could have been.

The story does not focus on what and how San Francisco is. It just happens that it mostly takes place there.

[li]Reseach[/li][li]ask someone[/li][li]Make stuff up - useful for places that no longer exist or never will[/li][/ul]

Which is exactly why I’m here :smiley:

You want to live in a city you’ve never been to? Like, on a temporary basis, or permanently?

FWIW, I’m a native San Franciscan, and it’s not exactly a problem-free paradise. Nothing against writing a story that takes place there, just that you seem to be over-idealizing it a bit.

Over-idealizing on what basis? You don’t know which city/town I currently live in and you don’t know what it’s like here.

You also don’t know what my image of SF is like. I appreciate a native San Franciscan putting in their say, but I never said it was paradise.

Another native here, and I find this fascinating. I wasn’t trying to be snarky, I just wonder how you set the scene in a place that isn’t familiar to you.

One thing you could do is post the bits that are site specific, and we could help you tweak them if you’d like. It’s an interesting place for sure, but probably very different from what most people imagine.

Plus you’d learn more about your future home town.

True enough, but in the OP you call it “wonderful”, and considering you’ve never been there, it seems a little strange.

Well I was drunk when I wrote that.

Wait, I still am.

Authors do it all the time. I once read an awful detective story set on the West Coast. It was obvious that the author had never even visited here, as sections of driving that would take a few hours were accomplished in under half an hour.


I might have read the same one except it was a vigilante type story.

While driving from San Jose to SFO ,he pulled off the freeway in Santa Cruz, just north of Palo Alto. :smack:

Hi and great to hear from you.

My story actually has no specific SF places, at least for now. Like I said, the emphasis of the story isn’t that it happens in SF, it just so happens that the main characters live there. I created this topic so I can ask a few questions so that nothing I mention might actually contradict with reality.

I experienced the Great Blizzard of 1976 in SF at the tender age of 8, my first year in the city. Having previously lived in NYC, Ithaca and Boston I was unimpressed but my SF-bred peers were going completely apeshit at the little dusting of white on the ground.

Was it possible the writer was referring to Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park? That’s just off the freeway (280), and Menlo Park is just north of Palo Alto.