(2) Climates -- California's Consistent Climate

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Jan 29, 2018 01:57
I grew up knowing that the winter is colder in northern China than southern China, so, for me, the rule of thumb used to be that the more poleward a place is, the colder it will be. It was not until I went to California last November that I came to realize that this rule is partially wrong. Latitude isn’t the only thing that determines a place’s climate. Factors such as topography and continent also matter.

When we were preparing for our late-November trip to California last year, my coworker asked me how much he should wear. I knew that the California’s climate is “Mediterranean,” which means in the winter it rains occasionally but is not cold. Then I took a look at a map of the world, and found that our city and Texas and Florida are on nearly the same latitude, and San Francisco is far north of my city.

At the time, the temperature was 40οF in my city and we’d already put on our down jackets. Despite knowing SF has the Mediterranean climate, since its latitude is so much higher than my city’s, I speculated that it wouldn’t be very warm there, so I suggested to my coworker that he bring along at least one down jacket. Though my coworker had checked out the weather forecast of SF and had learned that it wouldn’t be cold, he still embarked with a suitcase full of thick clothes as if he was flying to Alaska.

Upon stepping out of SFO, we realized that we were totally wrong. It wasn’t cold at all! Wearing a thin jacket would be just fine! Around noon, it was so hot that we had to take off the jackets! I’d heard of Mark Twain’s quote “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” (he meant the huge temperature differences between day and night), but it wasn’t cold at night either; we just needed to put our jackets back on. Three days later, when we were in LA, it was even hotter! So, we just kept our T shirt on all day long.

I was really impressed with LA’s climate. I’ve been to LA three times, in early April, in June, and in late November. The weather conditions were almost the same! Just now I checked out the weather in LA again, the temperatures during the next week will be still identical…
我从小就知道中国北方要比中国南方气温低。所以,我就有了一个印象,貌似越靠近两极,气温就越低。直到我去年11月底去了一次加州,才知道这个想法部分错误。纬度不是决定气候的唯一因素,地貌和一个地方在大陆所处的位置也有影响。

在准备去加州旅行之前,我的同事问我到那边该穿什么好。我当时知道加州的气候属于“地中海气候”,冬天会下雨但不会很冷。然后我又去看了一下世界地图,发现我们的城市和德州、佛罗里达基本上在一个纬度,旧金山的纬度高很多。

那时候,我们这里的气温只有5度,已经开始穿羽绒服。虽然我知道旧金山的气候是地中海气候,但毕竟纬度比我们城市高很多,我猜测旧金山也不会很缓和,所以我建议我同事至少带上一件羽绒服。我同事查看了旧金山的气温,得知不冷,但还是带了一大箱子厚厚的衣服,好像是要去阿拉斯加一样。

一出旧金山机场的门,我们意识到我们完全错了。完全不冷!只要穿一件薄夹克就可以了。中午的时候比较热,我们还得脱去外套。虽然我听说过马克吐温的名言“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”(他的意思是说旧金山的昼夜温差很大),但晚上我们也不觉得冷。我只需要把夹克又穿回去就可以了。三天后,我们到了洛杉矶,那就更热了!所以我们全天穿着t恤。

洛杉矶的气候让我印象十分深刻。我去过洛杉矶三次,分别是4月初,六月,和11月底。每次气天气都基本上一样!刚才我又去查了洛杉矶的天气,结果未来一个星期还是一样,真是四季如初夏。