The coastal climate of Santa Barbara is always an enjoyable surprise to the first-time visitor. This is particularly true during the winter months – roughly from October through March.
Santa Barbara has a unique geographic location that allows it to have its Mediterranean-type climate. For roughly 40 miles on either side of Santa Barbara, the California coastline runs almost due East/West. This alignment moderates the ocean currents that flow past Santa Barbara’s front door. Towering mountains, very close to the ocean, shelter the coastal strip from inland heat and cold. The Channel Islands, 20 to 30 miles off shore, break the force of ocean storms and quiet the surf.
The result is a comfortable year-round average temperature of 64 degrees, with an average maximum of 74 degrees and an average minimum of 56 degrees. The average annual rainfall is only 15 inches – about the same as many desert resort communities experience. Unlike those resorts, however, there are no sandy windstorms or blistering hot days. Absent, too, are the cold, fierce winter ocean storms that plague many California coastal resorts.
All this means there is no "off-season" in Santa Barbara. Warm sunshine, beautiful scenery, invigorating, clear, fresh air and congenial people await you year-round.
Click here to see a detailed weather chart on average monthly temperatures and precipitation.