Detonation: Dealing with the Weather
Southern California (the Los Angeles basin) is known for having consistently nice weather. More days than not, temperatures are mild by most people’s standards. It does heat up in the summer and cool down in the winter, but usually there is no dramatic swing in temperature. The number of blazing hot and freezing cold days are minimal. As for rain, we do get some, but normally not in large quantities. When the sky does darken up, it rains for a day or two, and that’s it. When the rain stops, the sun comes out (sometimes with patchy clouds).
The weather is one of the main reasons why so many people (in my opinion, far too many) live in SoCal. It is also why movie studios and aircraft manufacturers laid their roots here. The abundance of sunny days makes L.A. a great place to work.
For those of you who live where it’s common for the weather to go from one extreme (subfreezing) to another (100-plus degrees) and back again, you have learned to deal with the changing weather accordingly. Having to drive in wet conditions or with snow on the ground comes with the territory and isn’t really a big deal. The appropriate clothing for the varying weather conditions is part of the wardrobe. It’s also normal to have a vehicle prepared to handle the different types of weather in those areas.
Unfortunately, many Southern Californians just don’t seem to have a clue about dealing with bad weather. It’s probably because the seasons pretty much blend together and inclement weather doesn’t happen all too often. So, when the weather does change, they just seem to not know what to do, or they act like the weather situation is more extreme than it really is. Sometimes, there are even lines at the auto parts store for wiper blades, because no one remembers to change them until it rains.
It is kind of funny that when the temperature gets down to around 40 degrees, people put on parkas, beanies, and snow boots just to go to the store. Folks even like to joke and call it “California cold.” And when it’s lightly raining (especially the first rain of the season), people react like they have never seen heavy rain before and either drive either 10 mph or way too fast for the road conditions, causing accidents and creating traffic jams.
A 1-hour commute becomes a 3-hour ordeal of moving at a snail’s pace with a bunch of mad motorists. It doesn’t take long to tell people are definitely not used to dealing with rain. It is rare for big storms to hammer the Southland, but they do happen and the highways just get worse. Thunder and lightning storms also roll in once in a while, and they are like a “shock-and-awe” experience for a lot of people.
With so many Southern Californians being unable to cope with drastic weather changes, when severe weather blows in, everything comes to a standstill. I can only imagine the almost disaster-level mess that even a light dusting of snow on the ground would cause. Couple that with a little bit of ice on the roadway, or even some black ice (which most SoCal residents have never seen or heard of), and everything would come to a grinding halt.
The roads would be a sea of accidents and trying to drive anywhere would definitely not work, as traffic would be at a total standstill. For a great example of what the aftermath would look like if a freak snowstorm consumed the low-lying area, all a person needs to do is take a trip to the local mountains and ski resorts after it snows there. The roads are pretty chaotic, with cars in ditches and stuck in the snow.
Of course, I’m generalizing (but not as much as you might think). There are plenty of people in SoCal who are at the other end of the spectrum, and the weather really doesn’t bother them. They take it all in stride and know how to deal with it. Unfortunately, the rest of the people cause all the mayhem.