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Rainfall expected in San Francisco throughout APEC summit

Pedestrians wearing clear ponchos and holding black umbrellas walk through the rain across the Golden Gate Bridge.
An atmospheric river could douse San Francisco for several days of the weeklong APEC summit. | Source: Getty Images

Rainfall may greet tens of thousands of visitors in the coming week as they descend on San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit—the city’s largest international gathering since world leaders signed the United Nations founding charter at the Veterans War Memorial Building in 1945.

National Weather Service meteorologists say they’re tracking a storm system that could douse the Bay Area throughout the weeklong APEC conference, which will bring leaders of nearly 20 economies—including presidents of China and the U.S.—along with 30,000 others to the heart of the city. 

RELATED: APEC San Francisco: Everything To Know About Security, Traffic and Transit in 10 Maps

The event is already expected to snarl traffic because of security zones that will carve up the city center to protect foreign dignitaries.

Now, with wet weather on the horizon, the roads in and around San Francisco stand to be that much harder to navigate. 

The National Weather Service predicts a 30% chance of rain after 4 a.m. on Thursday and a 40% chance before 10 a.m. on Friday.

Then, after a weekend reprieve of clear skies, the forecast says rain is somewhat likely to fall again Monday and very likely to douse the city throughout the rest of the week, with temperatures ranging from the low 60s by day to upper 40s by night.

APEC was formed in 1989 to promote trade policy free of tariffs, subsidies or sanctions throughout the Asia Pacific region. To that end, it hosts multiple meetings each year in a given host nation.

In 2023, the United States is host and San Francisco the stage for APEC’s annual culmination known as Economic Leaders’ Week, set for this coming Saturday through Nov. 17. 

The climactic week of the conference will bring together heads of state and economic and trade ministers from the 21 APEC member economies, as well as hundreds of corporate executives and other high-ranking business leaders for the forum’s CEO Summit from Nov. 14 to 16.

All the while, meetings will take place in the background that could lead to consequential decisions about international trade and commerce.

Expected visitors this week include U.S. President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Peruvian President Dina Boluarte and other heads of state. U.S. Vice President (and former San Francisco District Attorney) Kamala Harris is this year's chair. 

Despite Russia being part of APEC, President Vladimir Putin is a sure no-show, given most members’ stance on the war in Ukraine.

Much of San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood will be wrapped in a ring of steel for the next two weeks. Moscone Center, the main site of the conference, will be cordoned off by a security perimeter, with transit lines rerouted and some streets closed. 

Meanwhile, as in years past, wherever APEC happens to land, activists plan to flock to those security lines to promote their causes at a widely watched forum that draws media attention from around the globe.

APEC’s ministerial meetings in Seattle in August were met with protests, and the movements behind those demonstrations are determined to follow the conference to San Francisco, with local groups planning to fill their ranks.

What exactly is APEC, and why is San Francisco hosting part of it this year? KQED journalist and APEC Host Committee Press Ambassador Priya David Clemens explains. | Video by Jesse Rogala

Jennifer Wadsworth can be reached at

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