I love warm weather. Always have. Even in muggy Iowa, summer was always my favorite season and winter was my least favorite. Given a choice between being too hot and too cold, I will pick too hot, every time. I know what everyone says about how you can bundle up against cold, whereas there isn't much you can do about heat, but a. I resent having to bundle up and b. it doesn't completely work anyway, because I don't care how many hats and sweaters and scarves and pairs of long underwear I have on -- if it's below freezing, my nose is still going to get cold.
So never assume it's an accident that I settled in Northern California, the land of moderate weather. I spent my childhood and college years in lands of temperature extremes, and now I am done, thank you. Besides, one of the great things about California is the number of other climates that are in easy reach. Tired of the chilly, foggy summer? Head up to the North Bay or out to the Central Valley to bake in some heat. Want to see some snow? Drive to the mountains for the day. And then, when I'm done, I can come home, where it's cool enough to sleep at night and I never have to worry about breaking out the salt or the snow shovel.
Still, I do love a good heat wave. I relax in hot weather, basking like a lizard on a rock. You will almost never see me more content than during a 90-degree day in San Francisco. Perhaps they're all the more pleasing because of their rarity -- we get maybe a dozen, during a good year, spread out from March through October. A solid week of hot weather is almost unheard of. They come in glorious bursts of a day or two; the fog will always return, driving the warm weather to Central Valley where it normally resides.
Sometimes I like rain, too, especially if I don't have to go anywhere. The sound of rain on a roof is soothing to me, watching the droplets on the windows almost hypnotic. Rain is my favorite kind of writing weather. I can appreciate the power of a good storm, too. We don't get summer storms in California -- if it is raining, it's almost invariably chilly -- and I do miss those: the smell of warm wet pavement, the crack of thunder and lightning, the way it clears out the air for hours afterwards.
But taken too far, clouds and fog will get me down. More than two or three days of rain in a row, or the relentless overcast, foggy days we often get in July and August will make me restless and lethargic, especially if it's also cold. I eventually get tired of the winter rains, too; one year, I think 2007, we had something like 50 days of rain in two months. Always before that winter, I had considered whether I might be able to stand the climate in Portland or Seattle. Turns out no, not so much.
And then there is my least favorite weather phenomenon: wind. Wind is cold, and it is annoying -- I hate what it does to my hair, I hate how it makes it impossible to use an umbrella in the rain, I hate how it makes everything colder. Unfortunately, San Francisco is the real windy city; wind and rain invariably come together here, and we get a daily wind storm a couple of hours before sunset, most days (something to do with the interaction of the land and the ocean, and changing temperatures between them). I'm not talking about a little light breeze, either. One of my least favorite things about living here. That, and I might bump the average annual temperature up about 5 degrees.
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