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Old 01-09-2010, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Northridge, Los Angeles, CA
2,685 posts, read 3,544,341 times
Reputation: 2243
California DOES get extreme weather, but just not where people live. You are talking about a region that extends from 42N to 32N, 124W (in Del Norte County) to 114 W (Colorado River in San Bernardino, Riverside, and Imperial Counties).

UNITED STATES EXTREME RECORD TEMPERATURES & RANGES


However, the California coast also has the MILDEST temperatures in the United States. Around 60% of California's population lives in this zone

Weather Variety - Least Variety


Welcome to the wonderful world of geography!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Outside of Los Angeles
1,223 posts, read 1,417,170 times
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Because California is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean which keeps it warm and also at the same time, the water is so cold that's why hurricanes or other tropical storms can't form. Hurricanes require warm water and the Pacific Ocean water is just ice cold.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 14,782,573 times
Reputation: 6434
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliveandWell View Post
Because California is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean which keeps it warm and also at the same time, the water is so cold that's why hurricanes or other tropical storms can't form. Hurricanes require warm water and the Pacific Ocean water is just ice cold.
Thank you Kelly Lange.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Outside of Los Angeles
1,223 posts, read 1,417,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Thank you Kelly Lange.
Where did that come from?? Just wondering because that was funny. All humor aside, CA is located in a part of this country that has the Mediterranean climate and because of that, extreme weather is unlikely.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 14,782,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliveandWell View Post
Where did that come from?? Just wondering because that was funny.
No offense intended. Used to watch her tell us all about the weather when I was a teen. She was smokin' hot back then.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Bryte, CA
1,940 posts, read 2,519,707 times
Reputation: 1287
Quote:
Originally Posted by AliveandWell View Post
Because California is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean which keeps it warm and also at the same time, the water is so cold that's why hurricanes or other tropical storms can't form. Hurricanes require warm water and the Pacific Ocean water is just ice cold.
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean?

What map are you looking at?
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,141 posts, read 14,782,573 times
Reputation: 6434
Quote:
Originally Posted by kc6zlv View Post
surrounded by the pacific ocean?

What map are you looking at?
2012.
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:47 PM
 
Location: In the Axis of Time
164 posts, read 182,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
That would be a mega rarity!
Digital thermometer. Ever take a trip near Death Valley. The average was 118 at the time.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:52 AM
 
Location: West Coast Wanderer
11,846 posts, read 9,444,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by californio sur View Post
California weather is boring but beautiful if all you want is sun & warmth. Never need more than a light jacket and occasionally an umbrella [but not often enough]. Its spoiled to complain but the same weather does get boring at times.

As far as cold weather, it can happen and frosts do occur in some of the inland valleys. The freezing cold happening in Florida can also happen here but, like Florida, it is a very rare event.
Your description of Ca. weather better fits for So Cal, not all of Ca.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:59 AM
 
Location: West Coast Wanderer
11,846 posts, read 9,444,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC6ZLV View Post
Severe weather takes many different forms.

The west coast of continents have milder climates due to the moderating influence of the ocean. The same pattern occurs in Australia (Perth), Europe (Spain, Portugal, France, Ireland), South America (Chile) and southwestern Africa.

If you have ever taken a weather/climate course worth anything one of the rules you will quickly learn is an air mass takes the characteristics of the surface it is over. In the case of California, the air mass moves from over the Pacific Ocean onto land, so the storms are typically mild, as far as temperatures goes, so no blizzards are going to move in from the west. This is true for the entire West Coast until you are are far enough north that it is just cold enough to support severe winter weather. In those rare instances when the air mass dives straight south the mountain ranges usually buffer the severity of the weather. Additionally, the Pacific Slope (the areas west of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada) is in a rain shadow, so little precipitation falls when this occurs. But, many parts of California will receive some chilly temperatures when this occurs. Typically, the coldest temperatures at the low elevations will drop down to the 15-20 degree range where there is little moderating influence from the ocean. The coastal cities will see temperatures down to about 30 degrees, and the rest of the country gets to see footage of frozen oranges in California.

Once in a while a cold air mass will move off the coast of Washington and come back in over California and pick up just enough moisture for some snow at the low elevations. This happened during the beginning of December. Several places received a light snow. It snowed here in Sacramento for about 15 minutes one morning. These conditions occur several times every year, but when it gets that cold in California there is usually very little moisture in the air, and when there is you have to be under the right cloud to see snow.

Of course, this is for the low elevations. California has some of the highest elevations in the country and blizzards are fairly common in the mountains. You don't hear much about them because there aren't many people living in these areas.

We do have severe weather. We have a problem with flooding in many areas, especially Northern California. Although it may seem dry, the drier areas of Northern California receive about 20 inches of rain in about 5 months. That is a fairly decent rate of precipitation. This is just the valleys. The elevated areas receive 35 to 70 inches of precipitation in about the same timespan. About 80 percent of that is snow in the mid and higher elevations. We have had a very wet years that started out cold and packed the snow in the mountains, then the jetstream brings a warmer air mass into California, the warm rain melts the snow and all the equivalent of 25 inches of precipitation is melted in a day or two, combined with the runoff at the lower elevations, and it all heads straight into the valleys.

We don't get a lot of high winds. Once every few years we get enough wind in some areas of Northern California. San Francisco has experienced 80 mile an hour winds a few times. In the Sacramento Valley, it will peak around 70 miles an hour. It doesn't last long, but it is enough to cause damage when the ground is saturated and the trees uproot.

We actually have tornadoes here. The difference between the tornadoes here and in the Midwest is we have small tornadoes and they only stay on the ground for a mile or two at a time, so there is rarely any damage. I actually do a little storm chasing when I have the opportunity. Tornadoes aren't uncommon at all here, but most of them occur in the same areas The Sacramento Valley between Sacramento and Butte Counties, the San Joaquin Valley from Kings to Merced Counties, and the Los Angeles Basin are the hot spots. They have been observed in many other locations.


Sacramento Tornado, 21 February 2005

Google searches will bring up many past tornado warnings and articles.

sacramento tornado warning - Google Search

fresno tornado warning - Google Search

Sunnyvale

and the highest elevation a tornado has been documented:

Tornado, Rockwell Pass, Sequoia National Park, July 7, 2004

You could also argue that heat waves are severe weather. In 2006 we had a severe heatwave that killed 163 people, according to Wikipedia. Heat combined with drought and windy weather is the cause of so many of the wildfires in Southern California. The term used for these conditions in Southern California is "the Santa Ana winds."

And I'm going to throw in fog. I know it sounds crazy because fog by itself is harmless. But the combination of fog and people makes it a very big problem. Fog + people + cars is kind of like guns + beer + rednecks. You never know what the outcome is going to be.
Very very well explained! Also there was a Tornado in San Diego in January of '93. WE called it the Deerfield Street Tornado.
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