Winter California Style

Winter weather may be coming to a close in Southern California. Winters here are hardly ever dependable, changing from year to year and day to day.

This season has been no different and while many may think that the weather this winter has been extreme, it may be that they have forgotten what a rainstorm is like in Southern California and what that entails.

Dry weather throughout the past couple of years is at the forefront of most minds.

“They tend to forget,” said Jim Ashby, service climatologist of the Western Regional Climate Center.

He said that just three years ago in February the rainfall in Los Angeles was around 11 inches and this year it is at only five inches.

Ashby said one of the storms in January, which included hail, a tornado in Long Beach and enough snow to lower the snow level to 3,000 feet, was not unheard of.

This winter has not been record setting Ashby said.

California weather may not be atypical, but it is also not easy to deal with. Because of the fires in late 2007, homeowners in some fire areas were evacuated from their homes that were in danger of being washed away by mudslides.

Flash-flood warnings went into effect during the rains in January and heavy snowfall caused traffic problems on the Interstate 5.

The rest of the country is facing problems caused by the weather as well.  Tornadoes hit southern states including Tennessee Feb. 5 leaving over 50 dead and dozens injured.

Locally La Verne has not faced any great catastrophe according to Bill Aguirre, the parks and recreation director for the city.

According to the Huffington Post, Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog from Punxsutawney, PA, saw his shadow Feb. 2.

Following tradition that translates to six more weeks of winter.

If the groundhog is right, six more weeks of winter in Southern California could mean anything from rainstorms and dragging out the umbrella to shirt and short weather and sunbathing in February at the local beaches.

It could also lead to more time to enjoy the snow in the local mountains.

In January storms brought so much snow that Mount Wilson had to use snowplows and was forced to shut down telescopes.

More snow will benefit those wishing to participate in skiing, snowboarding and other snow-related activities and also help with much-needed water in Southern California.

One main concern for Southern Californians may be deciding on the weather-appropriate wardrobe.

“The change is really drastic,” Cassandra Gonzalez, sophomore anthropology major from the University of La Verne said.

Gonzalez said the day-to-day change in weather is frustrating because she never knows what to wear.

“It is a change from the previous year,” Karen Trinh junior accounting major from ULV said.

Though the weather in Southern California is hardly dependable, it has not been extreme this season.

With the ever-changing weather, locals never know what to expect and have to be ready for anything.

Susan Acker can be reached at

Susan Acker
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