Friday, July 20, 2007

Record rain in San Jose.

As the San Jose Mercury-News reported yesterday, the city that bills itself as "the Capital of Silicon Valley" set a new record for rainfall this week. On Wednesday, July 18th, San Jose received a hundredth of an inch of rain - a record-setting amount, inasmuch as this was the first time in recorded history that the city received any rain on July 18th. Admittedly, the "recorded history" of San Jose's weather only goes back about about a century and a half, but the relative lack of rain here is nonetheless fairly remarkable. In a similar vein, I heard a radio weather report last week forecasting "unseasonably cool weather," which in this case meant temperatures in the 70's. That sounds pretty warm to a New Englander, but San Joseans are apparently very sensitive to variations in temperature. They seem to prefer daytime temperatures in the range of eighty to eighty-five degreess Fahrenheit, with anything outside this range being considered extraordinary or at least undesirable. When I arrived in San Jose in early June to ninety-degree heat, friends who live here told me they were sorry that I had to endure such unpleasant weather. At the time, I responded that the heat felt pretty good to someone who had spent a chilly spring in New York.

Though the lack of rain and consistently warm temperatures in Silicon Valley can be very pleasant, living here has reminded me how much I like seasons. Locals could point out that a place like San Jose does have subtle seasonal variations in weather, but they're nothing like the four-act drama repeated each year in the Northeast and the Midwest. I enjoy regular sunshine, but it doesn't stir my soul as much as seasonal spectacles of frost, changing leaves, melting ice. That might be why I'm starting to appreciate San Francisco more than I used to; fog can become pretty enchanting once you've gotten used to cloudless days. Even so, I'm sure I'll miss the mild San Jose weather when I'm back in New York. It's easy to reminisce fondly about rain, snow and ice when you don't have to deal with them on a regular basis, and I doubt I'll be so sanguine when I find myself in the midst of winter in the Northeast. Such is life - wherever you are, the weather is probably better somewhere else. AMDG.


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