Marin County Weather Differences - the impact of Microclimate

Posted by Helen Luttemo on Thursday, September 6th, 2012 at 8:55am.

Whether or not you care a lot about weather, you will start to pay attention when you begin your search for a home in Marin County. Marin is one of the few places on Earth with a microclimate.

As a local realtor in Marin I'm used to peoples somewhat disbelieving reactions when I tell them about the differences in weather patterns between the cities in Marin County - and even WITHIN each city! It could easily differ as much as 18°F (10° C) within just a fifteen minutes drive. This is fascinating and something you learn to take advantage of when you live here.

During my sixteen years as a Marin resident, there are numerous occasions when I've crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and the temperature shows 53° F. Fifteen minutes later, the same car thermometer shows 73° F when in San Rafael or further north.

Summer days when it is simply too hot in central and north Marin you can easily cool off at the beach which is just a 30 min drive away - and vice versa for those living close to the coastline.

A lot of real estate buyers chose Marin for the weather. I always suggest that they spend some time here to experience the HUGE weather differences between the various cities. For instance, if you want to entertain outdoors after 6pm (without having to rent tents and gas heaters!) and more than just a handful of times a year, you may want to start looking for your dream house north or west of Greenbrae.

Also, seasonal variations come into play. Belvedere and Tiburon usually enjoy fairly mild and clear fall and winter weather, as opposed to their relatively "cold and foggy" summer months - when compared to the rest of Marin. That's why we often see more luxury home listings in the early to late fall in south Marin. Which home doesn't look more appealing in beautiful weather?

I would say that the "safe and warm weather" starts in Greenbrae. Practically anywhere west or north of Greenbrae, you'll be experiencing a HUGE difference from San Francisco.

The main reason for these extremely varied microclimates in Marin County is the sharp topography and maritime surroundings.

As I mentioned in the beginning, microclimates are very unusual. The only other regions of the earth where you can find this type of climate differences are the southwestern tip of Africa, Gran Canaria (Spain), the west coast of Australia and the west coast of Chile.

Let me know if you have any questions about "how hot a city is" or about one particular neighborhood!

Helen Luttemo, Realtor. Successfully serving buyers and sellers throughout Marin since 2004.

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