Knowing what to pack for Los Angeles weather can make a visit to the city much more enjoyable and relaxed. Los Angeles has arguably the best weather among large U.S. cities, but it’s not always sunshine and palm trees. With an emphasis on style—especially among those who go to L.A. to see and be seen—it’s important to not only look good but to be comfortable in the many Los Angeles microclimates.
The weather is generally mild, with sunny skies and calm winds a guarantee for much of the year. Areas closer to the coast, such as Venice, Malibu, Santa Monica and Marina del Rey, can be cooler than inland areas. Layers are particularly important as the temperature rises and drops throughout the day.
Temperatures on the beach are typically 10 to 15 degrees cooler than they are inland, especially compared to downtown or the valley. Daytime highs on the beach typically reach into the mid 70s and low 80s, but nighttime and mornings can be brisk and even chilly, especially in the late autumn and winter months. But even when the weather cools, flip flops and sunscreen must-haves throughout the year.
Business travelers to Los Angeles should plan to dress in lighter professional attire. Lightweight blazers and business suits are common for local professionals who talk shop and network in the city’s many commercial and outdoor venues. If it’s an option, business casual clothes make for a more comfortable experience on warmer days. In the business district downtown or near the Los Angeles Convention Center, temperatures will probably be much warmer than elsewhere in the city.
Precipitation of any kind is a rare occurrence in Los Angeles. It generally only rains in the late fall and winter and the only snow to be found is atop the peaks of the mountains in the valley. At times in the winter, periods of rain can last for days at a time, and weather can become unsettled. Night time temperatures can dip down into the 40s and even 30s throughout the city in the winter, as well, and the coastline can become dangerous with large winter swells.
Highs and lows in the Valley: Visitors to inland areas like Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank and Encino, should plan to experience wild swings in temperatures, especially if they are coming from the coast or the LAX area. A pleasant August day on the beach can turn into sweltering heat and humidity in just a few short miles. The same goes for the winter months when lows around Christmas and New Years can dip to freezing or below. A good rule of thumb is to always pack layers, with lighter materials for summer stays and heavier garments for other times of the year.