Friday, September 18, 2015

Shift happens

   One recent morning, I was glad to have the comforter on the bed.  When I woke up, it was a bit nippy.  There was a touch of Autumn in the air. 
   Which was frustrating, because September has always been hot, likely the hottest month overall, here in Claremont.  That is, although it may have cool days with wonderful hints of Fall, some of the year’s hottest days come in September – and not just early in the month. It can also get awfully hot in October. 
   This is hard for someone like me who doesn’t like the heat and looks forward to it cooling off in the Fall after the long hot Summer. For this reason, Fall is my favorite time of year. Although it is terribly politically incorrect, I can understand why they used to call these not-part-of-the-bargain, gypping heat waves in late September and October “Indian Summer.”  
   In fact, when I was growing up, this was “Fair weather” – the beastly hot weather that always came along with the Los Angeles County Fair during September in Pomona nearby.  Also, it was a joke that the Claremont colleges do their hiring in February, when it’s cool and gorgeous, with the palm trees and oranges shining in the sunny skies with snow-capped Mt. Baldy in the background.  The new professors would move here in late August and despair over what they had gotten themselves into.  At that time, there was also the smog which was far worse than it is now. 
   All this is bad enough. At least it wasn’t humid back then.  In recent years, it has gotten humid during the summer, and more and more so.  This summer has been totally crazy.  It rained in July, which would never happen before, and it rained more than two inches a few days ago.  During this downpour, it wasn’t exactly cool, much less cold, and it didn’t provide much relief – the next few days are slated to heat up again.  What is this?  Hawaii?  Miami?  This definitely wasn’t part of the sunny So. Cal. bargain.
   Years ago, a professor here said that it looked like the weather was moving northward.  He thought everything would be shifting north, that we here in Southern California would be getting Mexico’s tropical weather and the San Francisco Bay Area would get our hot weather. This was before talk of global warming, and I don’t know if this is a part of global warming or something else, but he was right.  Last week, when we were sweltering in the hundreds and humidity – yes, it was horrid! -  it was in the nineties in San Francisco. Can you imagine?   Ninety in San Francisco,  where at least my grandfather always said you need a coat in the summer.  (Didn’t Mark Twain also say that?) 

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