Santa Clara County

Learn about Santa Clara County - its climate, potential air pollution concerns, and current air quality. You can also view upcoming Air District events in Santa Clara County and read about local efforts to improve air quality.

Santa Clara County is south of the San Francisco Bay, with San Mateo and Alameda counties bordering it to the north, Santa Cruz County to the west, San Benito County to the south, and Stanislaus and Merced counties to the east. Four Santa Clara County representatives sit on the Air District’s Board of Directors.

Climate

During the summer, mostly clear skies result in warm daytime temperatures and cool nights. Winter temperatures are mild, except for very cool but generally frost-less mornings. 

Further inland where the moderating effect of the bay is not as strong, temperature extremes are greater. Wind patterns are influenced by local terrain, with a northwesterly sea breeze typically developing during the daytime. Winds are usually stronger in the spring and summer. Rainfall amounts are modest, ranging from 13 inches in the lowlands to 20 inches in the hills.

Santa Clara County’s climate is also affected by regional Bay Area climate influences.

Interactive Air Monitoring Stations Map

Air Quality in Santa Clara County

Ozone and fine particle pollution, or PM2.5, are the major regional air pollutants of concern in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ozone is primarily a problem in the summer, and fine particle pollution in the winter.

Most of Santa Clara County is well south of the cooler waters of the San Francisco Bay and far from the cooler marine air which usually reaches across San Mateo County in summer.  Ozone frequently forms on hot summer days when the prevailing seasonal northerly winds carry ozone precursors southward across the county, causing health standards to be exceeded. 

Santa Clara County experiences many exceedances of the PM2.5 standard each winter.  This is due to the high population density, wood smoke, industrial and freeway traffic, and poor wintertime air circulation caused by extensive hills to the east and west that block wind flow into the region.

Interactive Air Quality Forecast Map

Resource Team

Santa Clara County’s Spare the Air Resource Team promotes ways to reduce air pollution in the local community.

Spare the Air Status
Spare the Air Status

Last Updated: 4/25/2016