Yes folks, Southern California does have “weather”! (Did anyone notice the hail and thunderstorm last Saturday morning?) Yes it does have rain, lightening, thunder and a tornado or two, and perhaps to tourists and transplants from the mid-west and east coast – that’s barely a “blip” on the weather radar! But to a native Californian, it’s real Weather!
Okay, compared to states east of the Rockies, it doesn’t last long – but remember, Southern California is not geared for stormy weather! We don’t have storm cellars or storm windows. Our freeways are meant to handle nutty drivers and earthquakes – not flood waters that could make Noah proud! Hail that stays on the ground long enough for kids to make “ice balls” is rare and actually a treat. (My kids are keeping theirs in the freezer) But it’s good enough for us to call weather!
Now I will admit –a few days, or even a week of unstable weather seems like a long time to Southern Californians. And many locals really don’t know how to deal with it. For example. . . . . .
There are those that suffer from the “how do I dress for this?” syndrome. It seems there are only two choices – the “bundle from nose to toes” style or the “shorts and T-shirt no matter what” style. I find it hard to believe that the “I live in SoCal and I can wear shorts all the time” types, seem to think an air temperature of 50 degrees or less, plus the wind chill factor, with rain blowing sideways, isn’t cold!
Then there are the “rainy day” drivers who have no clue how to drive in the rain. I won’t even go into speed and wet roads or the myriad of common sense rules that no one observes, because, as everyone knows “It never rains in Southern California. . .”
Also, I’ve noticed that less than one-third of all local drivers use their headlights when driving on a rainy day. California Vehicle Code 24400, the headlight law, has been in effect since July 1, 2005, so. . . . “Windshield wipers on. . . .Headlights on” Please! Okay – off my “soap box” . . . . for now.
So, to those of you who live in places with sleet, snow, and below freezing temperatures, “I salute you!” At times I even envy you the “holiday card” perfection of marshmallow snowdrifts and icicle trimmed trees. But, no matter how Southern California’s weather may pale in comparison to other states, I humbly ask you to acknowledge that we do have it! And if you must, stay and enjoy it with us.