Browngirl Going Green

Weather Vane
March 25, 2010, 3:22 pm
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The Bay Area has, for as long as I can remember, been one of those strange places weather-wise. Weather is often unpredictable and changeable from hour to hour, let alone day to day, but since I’ve been here my whole life, I felt like I had a good ‘sixth sense’ of what the weather was going to be like on any given day—there was something in the light, in the temperature of the air in the morning, in the quality and thickness of the clouds—that triggered something instinctual in me and told me whether I should bring a jacket or extra layer, or whether I should bring an umbrella, or whether I should wear something less heavy.

Of course, I could only tell what the weather was like in the immediate area I was in—our at turns hilly or flat, land-locked or water-bound terrain creates an incredible number of microclimates that can make temperature and even windy-ness in one neighborhood different than one a couple miles away—but I had enough sense to know that, for example, if I went to San Francisco it was generally going to be anywhere from 5-10 degrees cooler than it is in the East Bay, especially if I was going anywhere near the Pacific Ocean. Only the Pacific Northwest, where I spent a few weeks last May, was more changeable weather-wise in my experience (heavy rain in the morning could be followed by gorgeous sunny weather in the afternoon).

But lately, and yes I do blame climate change, I feel as if the unpredictability of Bay Area has changed. There’ve been days when the weather is actually WARMER in San Francisco than in Oakland. Or weeks (like these past few) when it rains heavily for a couple days, then gets almost Indian summer-like hot, then gets cold and rainy again. I don’t recall such extreme temperature and rainfall patterns ever happening in my lifetime here—or at least not over such a sustained period of time.

And please don’t post any silly comments about how you don’t believe man-made climate change is real, as they will be promptly deleted for their ridiculousness—as if humans can’t have any sustained impact on our environment!

This disruption of our normal weather patterns has made it hard to know how to prepare for each day—but that’s OK, it’s just one other thing to learn how to roll with. It is a bit frightening though, and makes me think of how much harder it must be right now in other places of the world—like the Philippines, South Asia, Central Africa, etc., which are often also the places where people color live—where weather and Mother Nature was already pretty extreme before climate change hit.

Frightening indeed.