Does It Rain In California?

California has been nicknamed the Golden State since the 1960s.

The State was actually given this nickname due to its connection with the Gold Rush of the 1800s, but the nickname has stuck due to the seemingly endless opportunities that California has.

Does it Rain in California

However, it would be easy to assume that California is nicknamed the Golden State because of its weather. 

Throughout the year, California experiences incredibly good weather that has many other States looking on in envy.

Whenever you see footage of California, 99% of the time the sun will be shining, and this might leave you wondering, “does it rain in California?”. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at whether, or not, it ever rains in California, and the reason behind this State’s incredible weather.

So keep on reading to find out more!

Does It Rain In California?

First things first, let’s take a look at whether, or not, it rains in California. In one word, yes, it does rain in California.

While the Golden State typically enjoys good weather, occasionally it does rain, much to the dismay of those living there. 

California is one of the many areas of the world that is lucky enough to only experience seasonal rain.

Unlike the United Kingdom, and some other parts of the USA, where rain can occur at any time throughout the year, California will only experience rain during certain seasons.

Outside these seasons, it is incredibly unlikely for it to rain, especially in Southern California.

So, yes, it does rain in California. But, due to the seasonal rain, it is possible to prepare for the bad weather.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at when the rainy season in California is.  

What Is The Rainiest Month In California?

As we have mentioned, California is an area of the world where rain is only experienced seasonally.

So, if you want to visit California for sunshine, it is best to avoid this State during the rainy season. Let’s take a look at when the rainy season occurs. 

The rainy season in California starts in October, and usually continues through until March.

During this time, it is normal for it to rain in California, and most Californians will be prepared for this bad weather because they know to expect it.

Essentially, the rainy season in California runs from the middle of Autumn, right through the winter, up until the beginning of Spring. 

Outside this rainy season, it is incredibly rare for it to rain in California. The rainy season in this State is excellent because once it is over, you know that you can expect sunshine and dry weather for the remainder of the year.

So, from March through till the end of September, it will almost always be dry in California. If it does rain, then it will just be the occasional day, not weeks of bad weather.

Does it Rain in California (1)

How Often Does Rain Happen In California?

During the rainy season, it is incredibly common for it to rain in California. As this State experiences seasonal weather, it has to rain during these months to make up for the fact that it doesn’t rain throughout the rest of the year.

While rain can interfere with your plans, and be a general nuisance, it is essential for the health of the world, and that is why California has a rainy season. 

However, it is important to note that even during the rainy season, it will not rain every single day in California.

For example, January is usually the wettest month in California during the rainy season, but even then, it won’t rain every single day. Instead, California usually experiences an average of 6 days of rain during January.

Due to this being the winter, there is also the possibility of this rain coming down as snow too. 

At the start of the rainy season, it is common for California to only experience 3 or 4 days of rain during October and November.

As you get to the middle of the rainy season (December/January) this increases to around 5 or 6 days.

Then in March it reduces again with around 4 days of rain. By April, this number will have reduced to around 2, and by July the average number of rainy days is 0. All in all, it only rains for around 35 days a year in California.

Why Doesn’t It Rain In California During The Summer?

So, by the middle of summer, the average number of rainy days in California is zero. In reference, the number of rainy days in the United Kingdom during July is 10.

This might lead you to wonder why it doesn’t rain in California during the summer, so let’s take a look.

The reason that it doesn’t rain during the summer months in California is because of where California is located on the Globe.

California is part of the Mediterranean climate, which is why they experience clear summer months, and clear winter months.

Places with a Mediterranean climate have West-facing Coasts, and other areas with this climate include Australia, South Africa, Chile, and some areas of France, Spain and Italy too. 

All of these areas have one thing in common, and that is the fact that they are low latitude zones. As well as having dry summers, these areas also experience a lower level of rain overall when compared to other areas of the world.

This is because the precipitation in these areas is lower due to their location on Planet Earth.

So, in short, it doesn’t rain in California because it is a low latitude zone, and this reduces the rain precipitation for this State.


In conclusion, yes, it does rain in California. However, California is a State that is lucky enough to experience seasonal weather, and this means that it will usually only rain during the rainy season.

This rainy season occurs between October and March, but even then, California will experience less rain than other areas of the world.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Noren