I know, I know, longest blog post ever written. This is but one reason why. On Saturday, the temperatures in San Jose were in the mid-70s; this morning when I awoke, I noticed a SEVERE WEATHER ALERT on my My.Yahoo homepage.
The SEVERE WEATHER ALERT was to inform local residents that temperatures were dropping. From the mid-70s to low-60s. At the end of October:
..SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN THE WEATHER EXPECTED EARLY THIS WEEK...
A COLD BUT DRY WEATHER SYSTEM CURRENTLY DEVELOPING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WILL DROP SOUTH INTO NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TONIGHT. THIS WEATHER SYSTEM WILL BRING SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO THE WEATHER ACROSS THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA AND MONTEREY BAY AREA TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY. THESE CHANGES WILL INCLUDE MUCH COOLER TEMPERATURES...A CHANCE OF SHOWERS...AND LOCALLY BREEZY CONDITIONS. THE FOLLOWING
IMPACTS ARE EXPECTED:
* TEMPERATURES: MUCH COOLER WEATHER WILL DEVELOP THROUGH MONDAY. A COLD FRONT WILL SWEEP THROUGH THE AREA TONIGHT...BRINGING A MUCH COOLER AIRMASS INTO THE REGION BY MONDAY MORNING. BY MONDAY...HIGH TEMPERATURES ARE FORECAST TO BE MAINLY IN THE
UPPER 50S TO MID 60S...ABOUT 15 TO 20 DEGREES COOLER THAN WHAT THEY WERE ON SATURDAY. MUCH COOLER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE INTO TUESDAY.
* PRECIPITATION: ALTHOUGH THIS WEATHER SYSTEM WILL NOT CONTAIN MUCH MOISTURE... THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS BEGINNING TONIGHT AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING. RAINFALL TOTALS WILL BE LIGHT...GENERALLY LESS THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH. WET ROADWAYS ARE POSSIBLE IN SOME LOCATIONS DURING BOTH THE MORNING AND AFTERNOON COMMUTES ON MONDAY. COLD WEATHER WILL ALLOW FOR A FEW SNOWFLAKES TO MIX IN WITH RAIN SHOWERS ACROSS THE VERY HIGHEST PEAKS OVER 5000 FEET IN ELEVATION.
* WINDS: LOCALLY BLUSTERY CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO DEVELOP ON SUNDAY EVENING AND CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY MONDAY. WESTERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH ARE FORECAST WITH LOCAL GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH. STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE ON SUNDAY EVENING NEAR THE COAST AND ON THE EASTERN SLOPES OF MOUNTAIN RANGES. WINDS IN THE HILLS ABOVE
2000 FEET WILL GUST TO 45 MPH FOR A FEW HOURS TONIGHT AND DIMINISH BY SUNRISE ON MONDAY.
THE WEATHER SYSTEM WILL BEGIN TO MOVE OFF TO THE EAST ON TUESDAY...ALLOWING HIGH PRESSURE TO BUILD OVER CALIFORNIA BY MIDWEEK. THIS WILL RESULT IN WARMER DAYS DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE WEEK WITH DAYTIME TEMPERATURES FORECAST TO WARM ABOVE NORMAL BY THURSDAY. ALTHOUGH MILD DAYTIME CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE WEEK...NIGHTS WILL REMAIN COOL. PATCHY FROST IS POSSIBLE IN THE COLDEST INLAND VALLEYS FROM TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT.
Yes, look at that temperature swing:
After a particularly vicious snowstorm, Minneapolis’s James Lileks tweeted in February, “News report of East Coasters stocking up on bread, milk and toilet paper. So snowstorm = French toast and dysentery.”
I’m sure this fellow speaks for hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents upon seeing the SEVERE WEATHER ALERT this morning:
Of course, the real problem for the average California weatherman, and for the rest of us, is that while temperatures and precipitation in state are almost entirely predictable, another element — earthquakes — aren’t. Which can lead to some very interesting differences in East Coat and West Coast business cultures, as Virginia Postrel wrote in a memorable 1997 Forbes column.