December Weather in Sacramento California, United States
Daily high temperatures decrease by 5°F, from 59°F to 53°F, rarely falling below 46°F or exceeding 65°F. The lowest daily average high temperature is 53°F on December 28.
Daily low temperatures decrease by 3°F, from 42°F to 39°F, rarely falling below 31°F or exceeding 52°F. The lowest daily average low temperature is 39°F on December 31.
For reference, on July 19, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Sacramento typically range from 61°F to 94°F, while on December 31, the coldest day of the year, they range from 39°F to 53°F.
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on December. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Badajoz, Spain (5,673 miles away); Ma’dabā, Jordan (7,373 miles); and Wundowie, Australia (9,198 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Sacramento (view comparison).
The month of December in Sacramento experiences gradually increasing cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy increasing from 51% to 55%.
The clearest day of the month is December 8, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 50% of the time.
For reference, on January 11, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 56%, while on July 29, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 92%.
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Sacramento, the chance of a wet day over the course of December is essentially constant, remaining around 27% throughout.
For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 31% on February 20, and its lowest chance is 0% on July 21.
To show variation within the month and not just the monthly total, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.
The average sliding 31-day rainfall during December in Sacramento is gradually increasing, starting the month at 3.4 inches, when it rarely exceeds 6.6 inches or falls below 0.6 inches, and ending the month at 3.9 inches, when it rarely exceeds 7.9 inches or falls below 0.3 inches.
Over the course of December in Sacramento, the length of the day is essentially constant. The shortest day of the month is December 21, with 9 hours, 28 minutes of daylight and the longest day is December 1, with 9 hours, 41 minutes of daylight.
The earliest sunrise of the month in Sacramento is 7:04 AM on December 1 and the latest sunrise is 19 minutes later at 7:23 AM on December 31.
The earliest sunset is 4:44 PM on December 7 and the latest sunset is 10 minutes later at 4:54 PM on December 31.
Daylight saving time is observed in Sacramento during 2023, but it neither starts nor ends during December, so the entire month is in standard time.
For reference, on June 21, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 5:41 AM and sets 14 hours, 52 minutes later, at 8:33 PM, while on December 22, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 7:20 AM and sets 9 hours, 28 minutes later, at 4:48 PM.
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for December 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases. The label associated with each bar indicates the date and time that the phase is obtained, and the companion time labels indicate the rise and set times of the Moon for the nearest time interval in which the moon is above the horizon.
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The chance that a given day will be muggy in Sacramento is essentially constant during December, remaining around 0% throughout.
For reference, on July 30, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time, while on January 1, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Sacramento is essentially constant during December, remaining within 0.1 miles per hour of 6.5 miles per hour throughout.
For reference, on July 20, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 7.2 miles per hour, while on October 21, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 5.2 miles per hour.
The highest daily average wind speed during December is 6.6 miles per hour on December 14.
The hourly average wind direction in Sacramento throughout December is predominantly from the north, with a peak proportion of 40% on December 10.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Sacramento typically lasts for 11 months (328 days), from around January 19 to around December 13, rarely starting after February 22, or ending before November 19.
During December in Sacramento, the chance that a given day is within the growing season is rapidly decreasing falling from 73% to 32% over the course of the month.
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
The average accumulated growing degree days in Sacramento are gradually increasing during December, increasing by 50°F, from 4,320°F to 4,370°F, over the course of the month.
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Sacramento is essentially constant during December, remaining within 0.1 kWh of 2.2 kWh throughout.
The lowest average daily incident shortwave solar energy during December is 2.1 kWh on December 26.
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Sacramento are 38.582 deg latitude, -121.494 deg longitude, and 26 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Sacramento is essentially flat, with a maximum elevation change of 33 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 24 feet. Within 10 miles is essentially flat (135 feet). Within 50 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (4,760 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Sacramento is covered by artificial surfaces (86%) and herbaceous vegetation (10%), within 10 miles by artificial surfaces (48%) and cropland (42%), and within 50 miles by cropland (37%) and grassland (29%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Sacramento, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 5 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Sacramento.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Sacramento according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Sacramento is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Sacramento and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are:
To get a sense of how much these sources agree with each other, you can view a comparison of Sacramento and the stations that contribute to our estimates of its temperature history and climate. Please note that each source's contribution is adjusted for elevation and the relative change present in the MERRA-2 data.
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
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