Sunny California

I thought of this topic for my blog on the way to class last week. A comfortable breeze swept through State College after a disgustingly humid morning, but my relief was short-lived as I noticed the mass of dark storm clouds quickly approaching. Within minutes, I was running for cover as the gray rain came down in buckets. I joined the mob of people huddled under the overhang outside of the Corner Room to wait out the torrential downpour. People around me were calling friends and taxis to come pick them up and I just looked around me wondering.... "Why the heck is it raining in the summertime......?" The fact is, it rains nearly everywhere in the summer. Everywhere except where I come from. If it rained in August in California, that would be enough to cause a mini explosion on Facebook. In my hometown right now, it is so dry that the mountain next to my house is on fire. (Yes, they have it mostly under control now.) I wanted to find out exactly why the weather is so different in CA (specifically in the bay area), so I looked it up.
According to the Western Regional Climate Center  website, the climate is mostly affected by a combination of the topography of the state as well as the general nature of circulation caused by the Pacific ocean.  The easternmost mountains create a barrier that block the extremely cold air from the Great Basin in the winter and when it does manage to get over into California, the air is warmed my compression on its way down. The most important factor contributing to the climate is the high pressure created by the Pacific Ocean. During the summer, the pressure center moves north, preventing storms from moving south into the state. During the winter, the center moves south, allowing only moderate, widespread rainfall. The east coast is humid because the combined effects of Atlantic being warmer and the fact that ocean current comes up from the equator instead of the Arctic in the west. It may not sound all that interesting to any of my classmates, but I think it's good for me to know why my home is the way it is.


Hi Haley. I was actually forced to walk through that spur of the moment torrential downpour with no umbrella and no sweatshirt to my next class, so that was fun. I was completely unaware that it was rare for it to rain in California during the summer months. I had always heard about the forest fires and stuff like that, but did not know that this was the reason. I like the occasional rain storm so i don't know how I'd feel about it not raining for such long period of time! I have always wanted to visit California though. I don't know how you deal with the 7 months of freezing cold weather and wind that we get here when you're coming all the way from Cali!

Just like you, I was trapped in that torrential downpour! I really loved your article even more just because I lived in California! I used to live in Long Beach, where the sun was constantly shining and life was much easier! Of course, I was aware of some of the weather patterns in California, but your links really helped expand my knowledge. State College weather must be a complete shock to you, seeing as though it snowed in April last year! It's actually really interesting how different weather can be in different parts of the country!

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