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Dense fog clings to San Francisco, but Fleet Week air show is still on

Dense fog was visible Sunday morning in San Francisco, but expected to clear in time for the final day of Fleet Week San Francisco's air show Sunday afternoon.
Dense fog was visible Sunday morning in San Francisco, but expected to clear in time for the final day of Fleet Week San Francisco's air show Sunday afternoon. | Source: Julie Makinen/The Standard

Dense fog that socked in San Francisco and other coastal areas early Sunday morning was expected to linger through at least noon, but organizers said they expected the last day of Fleet Week San Francisco's scheduled air show to go on.

“So far, our weather forecasters are predicting that the fog will burn off," a spokesman with The Air Show Network, which produces the Fleet Week spectacle, told The Standard.

READ MORE: Photos: Blue Angels Take Flight Over San Francisco for City’s 2023 Fleet Week Celebrations

Last year's final Sunday show was canceled due to persistent heavy fog.

The National Weather Service issued the advisory early Sunday and had expected it to expire around 10 a.m., but extended it until noon for coastal areas from the Central Coast to the Golden Gate.

Meteorologist Dalton Behringer told The Standard that he wasn't seeing much retreat in foggy conditions but added that it might ease along the east side of the Golden Gate Bridge by early afternoon.

Behringer expected fog to linger along the city's west side but hopefully ease overland and along the city's northern edge and the bridge's eastern side in time for the air show.

READ MORE: The Best Places To Watch San Francisco Fleet Week’s Air Shows

A schedule on the Fleet Week San Francisco site listed Sunday's show beginning at 12:18 p.m. with flag jumps to the national anthem, followed by a U.S. Navy parachute team demonstration. After breaks in the show around the top of each hour, the show was to close with an appearance by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels' Fat Albert plane at 3 p.m., followed by the Angels at 3:15 p.m.

Social-media posts by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency alert riders Sunday of two cable-car lines' service replacement by buses.

According to a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency statement on Fleet Week, cable-car service on the Powell/Mason and Powell/Hyde lines would be provided by buses, with extra Muni service along the city's northern and eastern waterfront, and the F Market & Wharves historic streetcars switching back at Pier 39.

Behringer also noted a low-pressure trough scheduled to pass through the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday morning, bringing gray skies, a stronger marine layer and cooler temperatures inland. Chances of rain were expected at 80% to 90% in the North Bay, 50% to 60% in San Francisco and the East Bay and 15% to 30% in the South Bay down to Monterey, with about half an inch north of the city and a tenth to a quarter-inch in the city and East Bay.

Any precipitation would be the first of the weather service's new water year, which began Oct. 1 and follows an unprecedented series of storms, with forecasters already expressing concern about El Niño prospects in coming months.

Broader conditions set up by last winter's storms put California on track for a particularly powerful El Niño event. Warmer-than-average surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific Ocean tend to generate higher-than-average seasonal rainfall across western North America—including California. 

“It’s not just that there’s a high likelihood of El Niño conditions of some magnitude this year (which there is), but there’s also a moderate but growing likelihood of a remarkably strong event later in 2023,” meteorologist Daniel Swain said in a blog post, adding that it’s likely that a greater frequency of storms will arrive in late autumn. 

This is a developing story.

George Kelly can be reached at