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SF to Rest of Country: What Is This Cold Weather of Which You Speak?
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Weather.com | January 7, 2014
And other questions we're asking ourselves.
All of my twitter feed is talking about is how cold it is outside, but I just stuck my hand out the window and it was not cold at all. What gives?
It is indeed cold everywhere, just not here. Almost the entire rest of the country is really, crazily cold. Chicago's like two degrees. New York City is nine. Most of the South is in the twenties. Here, we are a balmy 62.
I've lived in California too long and so have no concept of what cold weather means. Are those numbers bad?
How about a helpful comparison?
You know how the water in the Bay is cold? That's only like 50 degrees. So Chicago is, like, 25 times colder than our bay. Or something.
Okay, why so cold?
It's called the polar vortex. Basically, it's a mass of low-pressure Arctic air that detached from the North Pole and slid down to America to hover on top of the Midwest like a blanket. Well, a blanket keeps you warm. So it's more like a Bizarro blanket.
Sucks dude. Is it coming here?
Probably not. Like our cousins in Wichita, the polar vortex finds our San Francisco values and lifestyle choices to be strange and confusing, and would prefer to stay in the God-fearing states where the men know who the men are and the women know who the women are, and so on. No genderqueers out there, dammit!
So this proves global warming doesn't exist, right?
Yes. Occasional cold temperatures prove that the overall warming trend doesn't exist, just the same ways that when the Giants lose one or two regular season games it means they will never win again, ever.
I feel like this kind of smug superiority is why your cousins in Wichita don't like you. Can you explain that again without the condescension?
Ugh. Fine. Check out the science here. It could be the case that cold Arctic air gets locked in place by winds that circulate around the pole like a fence. As Arctic air in the stratosphere warms, it means those winds lessen in power, which makes it more likely that the cold air escapes, the way it has done now and did in March over Europe. At this point, everybody who doesn't directly work for the News Corporation recognizes that as global warming happens, we'll see greater weather variability. We should expect more and more weird stuff like this polar vortex.
So what should I do if I have to talk to somebody in one of those cold places? I feel like they all hate me right now.
Follow the best advice for conflict mediation: Focus on what you have in common: No rain! It's freaking dry in half of the country too.
Why are we even talking about the weather? I mean, we only have a limited number of hours in our lives—so why can't you and I make a real connection as human beings and talk about something important? Art. Love. Life. Why are we distracting ourselves with meaningless nonsense about how the vibration of molecules in the air is slightly less energetic than expected?
Um, okay. Want to talk about Kim Kardashian photoshopping her own selfies?