Opinion Columns & Blogs

Coldest winter in San Luis Obispo County? That would be this summer

Tribune file photo by Joe Johnston

I like weather, real weather — weather where the four seasons are defined by snowy winters, balmy springs, hot summers and blustery, cool autumns.

I’ve never lived in such weather, but it’s a genetic thing; my DNA is defined by generations of Norwegian Minnesotans who not only dealt with real weather, they actually thrived in winters that are so cold, they’d freeze your eyeballs in their sockets if given half a chance.

But no, although conceived in Minneapolis, I was born on the Central Coast, a place that has but two seasons: blue and gray. It doesn’t much matter what the calendar says, each day throughout the year is pretty much “low clouds clearing to sunny skies with highs in the low to mid-70s.”

That kind of daily forecast may be the stuff in which chambers of commerce and real estate agents weave their respective dreams, but for a quadra-seasonal sensibility trapped in a bi-seasonal reality, it simply falls short of being called real weather.

And now, to make climactic conditions on the Central Coast even more homogenized, more one-size-fits-all, it looks like our summers on the coast are completely divested of any blue skies.

For the past two months, The Lovely Sharita and I have been able to count the number of sunny days at our Baywood home on one hand. This is not an exaggeration. There have been four.

We get up; it’s foggy. We go to work; it’s gray. We get home from work; it’s foggy. We eat our dinners and dream our dreams under a blanket of fog. Our dogs, being color-blind, are only too happy to take foggy walks next to gray estuary waters under a stratus-gray sky.

I don’t care if it’s advection fog, radiation fog, upslope fog or steam fog. We’ve got it: monochromatic skies.

OK, this kind of anomaly happens. This paper’s managing editor, Tad Weber, remembers a summer in Santa Barbara that was fogged in for three months, giving that particular season in that city the sobriquet of “Bummer Summer.”

But it seems like north-facing coastal towns such as Los Osos/Baywood Park and Cambria are picking up the fog-bound weather check while other beach towns such as Avila and Cayucos are getting a sunny free pass.

With that in mind, it’s of particular teeth-gnashing frustration to see a completely blue sky hovering in all directions to the north, south and east of our home, while overhead — and almost perfectly mimicking the contours of the Los Osos peninsula — sits an impermeable puddle of fawwwwg.

Yet, things could be much worse. We could live anywhere in the U.S. east of San Luis and be baking our brains out. Judging by the number of red temperatures on the Weather Channel’s evening map of the United States, most Americans are living in some kind of perpetual purgatory this summer — with most of that air being so muggy you could strain it with a seersucker suit.

So, OK, I’ll take a little cheese with my whine, count my blessings and look forward to our real summer on the coast this coming autumn — which will, no doubt, only further discombobulate my already foggy and confused quadra-seasonal sensibilities.

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