Travel & Day Trips

Is Half Moon Bay Always Foggy? Local’s Advice

Half Moon Bay, a small city located on the Pacific coast in California’s San Mateo County, is known for its stunning vistas, beautiful beaches, and year-round outdoor activities.

But one aspect of Half Moon Bay that frequently piques curiosity is its weather—more specifically, its fog. But is Half Moon Bay always foggy?

As a Bay Area local, I’ve been to Half Moon Bay a ton. Here are my thoughts.

Understanding Half Moon Bay’s Climate

Before we delve into the foggy mystery, it’s important to understand the overall climate of Half Moon Bay. Characterized as Mediterranean, the area experiences cool, wet winters and dry summers. The weather is significantly influenced by the cold currents of the Pacific Ocean.

It can get really chilly in Half Moon Bay! I’ve driven there from my home in the East Bay, where it might be 90 degrees, only to find that HMB is in the 50s and I need a jacket!

The Fog Phenomenon

Fog is a common occurrence along the California coast, especially during the summer months. Cold currents from the Pacific Ocean meet the warmer air from the land, resulting in a thick, cooling fog. Half Moon Bay is no exception to this phenomenon.

When is Half Moon Bay Foggy?

While it’s not accurate to say Half Moon Bay is always foggy, it certainly does see its fair share of fog. The fog is most prevalent during the summer months, particularly from June to August. During this time, the phenomenon known as the “marine layer” often shrouds the city in fog, typically in the morning and evening hours.

That said, there are plenty of non-foggy days in Half Moon Bay. Especially in the afternoon, the fog often burns off and it’s lovely and sunny.

Half Moon Bay is not always foggy

Living with the Fog

For locals, the fog is a part of life in Half Moon Bay. While it may seem a bit dreary to outsiders, many residents find it adds a unique charm to the area. It creates atmospheric and picturesque landscapes that are much loved by photographers and nature enthusiasts. Plus, the fog provides a welcome respite from the summer heat.

Fog can overcast weather can be a respite from the heat

Not Just Fog: Half Moon Bay’s Weather Variety

Despite the prevalence of fog, Half Moon Bay enjoys a wide variety of weather. In the autumn and winter months, you can expect clearer skies and milder temperatures. Spring tends to bring a mix of sun and clouds, with occasional rainy days.


In conclusion, while Half Moon Bay is often shrouded in fog during the summer, it is not always foggy. The city experiences a wide range of weather conditions throughout the year, each adding a unique charm to this picturesque coastal town. If you plan on visiting, don’t let the fog deter you. It’s a part of the Half Moon Bay experience that many have come to know and love.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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