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Old 11-02-2012, 09:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
Fall and Winter sun angle at these upper 30s latitudes is in the marginal zone for SAD. However, here are the caveats:
- Cloud cover (and tule / radiation fog inland) can be a factor certain Fall / Winter seasons.
- Terrain can play a role. In the far South Bay, in intermontain valleys, in canyons, in wooded areas or on NW, N and NE facing slopes your daily hours of light will be cut, and it will have an effect of being 10 or more degrees latitude further north than you really are.
Interesting point about terrain. I suppose that applies to anywhere, though, not just at a particular latitude. The latitude of San Jose (about 37 degrees north) is roughly the same as the south of Spain or Italy, and lemme tell ya, people in those countries don't talk about SAD. They always have a good time. I think Americans are more oversensitive to that stuff, and I think Americans spend much more time indoors and would benefit from more direct daylight. In fact, most of my relatives are in Germany, which is like 51+ degrees north, it's gloomy much of the winter, with short days, and they don't even experience SAD, because they're outside much more, even in the cold. So I think that's really key to avoiding SAD -- getting outside and not just driving to work and then leaving when it's dark. That can get depressing.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
So, I could see that SAD might be an issue for some. And it's not just the cloudiness, but also the shortness of the day. Daylight isn't super short here, but it is noticeably shorter than in SoCal.
I just looked up LA vs SF, and LA gets 20 minutes more daylight than SF on the shortest day of the year (and SF gets 20 min more on the longest day of the year). Is that noticeable? Depends. SoCal gets those extra 20 minutes all on the sunrise end of the day, because its coastline curves so far in that the more eastern longitude actually affects the sunrise/sunset times too. So at the winter solstice, the sun actually sets later in SF than LA by about ten minutes, but then it rises about thirty minutes earlier in LA (giving LA a total of 20 minutes more). So it depends on if you're an early bird or not. I'm not, so the early sunrise is wasted on me. I get more use out of a later sunset, so to me, the days feel shorter in SoCal because I don't make use of the sunrise.

Last edited by tstieber; 11-02-2012 at 09:20 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: In them thar hills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyTXsmile View Post
This is fabulous information. So, if you had severe SAD, where would you live in the Bay Area?
Foster City. It's away a bit from the hills / their impacts on effective sunrise and sunset, about as close to the center of the Bay as one can get. Almost no Tule Fog (although in summer more coastal overcast than a few other spots but nothing like Pacifica or HMB). Enough of rain shadow to make a difference, way less rain than Los Gatos, Saratoga, Woodside, etc.

Downsides (beyond those already mentioned):
- Wind
- Landfill / unconsolidated alluvium
- Lots of geese (and their droppings)
- Everything is post war and most of that is post 1970
- Ingress and egress are pretty bad
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
Interesting point about terrain. I suppose that applies to anywhere, though, not just at a particular latitude. The latitude of San Jose (about 37 degrees north) is roughly the same as the south of Spain or Italy, and lemme tell ya, people in those countries don't talk about SAD. They always have a good time. I think Americans are more oversensitive to that stuff, and I think Americans spend much more time indoors and would benefit from more direct daylight. In fact, most of my relatives are in Germany, which is like 51+ degrees north, it's gloomy much of the winter, with short days, and they don't even experience SAD, because they're outside much more, even in the cold. So I think that's really key to avoiding SAD -- getting outside and not just driving to work and then leaving when it's dark. That can get depressing.
Part of the problem is the diet of processed crap that passes for food in America. The Mediterranean diet prevalent in Spain and Italy has been shown to reduce incidence of depression by around 30%.

Mediterranean Diet May Fight Depression
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
I just looked up LA vs SF, and LA gets 20 minutes more daylight than SF on the shortest day of the year (and SF gets 20 min more on the longest day of the year). Is that noticeable? Depends. SoCal gets those extra 20 minutes all on the sunrise end of the day, because its coastline curves so far in that the more eastern longitude actually affects the sunrise/sunset times too. So at the winter solstice, the sun actually sets later in SF than LA by about ten minutes, but then it rises about thirty minutes earlier in LA (giving LA a total of 20 minutes more). So it depends on if you're an early bird or not. I'm not, so the early sunrise is wasted on me. I get more use out of a later sunset, so to me, the days feel shorter in SoCal because I don't make use of the sunrise.
Interesting point. I have never lived in SoCal, although I have lived at that latitude (Tucson, AZ, actually slightly south of SoCal latitude). I wasn't thinking much about longitude.

But the other factor is that almost anywhere in SoCal is significantly sunnier in winter than anywhere in the Bay Area.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Interesting point. I have never lived in SoCal, although I have lived at that latitude (Tucson, AZ, actually slightly south of SoCal latitude). I wasn't thinking much about longitude.

But the other factor is that almost anywhere in SoCal is significantly sunnier in winter than anywhere in the Bay Area.
That's true -- there is a better probability of sunshine in SoCal in the winter months. SoCal has about 30 days of rain per year, NorCal about 60. That gives you 30 extra days of rain spread out over, say, four months, which is an extra day of rain every four days. That doesn't mean each of those days is sunny in SoCal while it's raining in NorCal (it could be cloudy), but some of them will be.

I don't think the TOTAL number of sunny days per year is that different between most NorCal and SoCal cities, as Sacramento and LA have about the same annual amount of sunshine, and SF and SD have about the same, but they're distributed differently throughout the year. In NorCal, it's cloudier in the winter when the days are short. In SoCal, it's cloudier in the late spring when the days are long. Either way, given the relatively high amount of sunshine across the entire state, compared to other countries, if you get Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Bay Area, then there aren't many parts of the world you'll make it in!
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:20 AM
 
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Hey, has anyone actually ever experienced reverse SAD? I distinctly remember being in high school in '89 or '90 during a severe drought, and it was seriously starting to freak me out that it was sunny every day for so many months. The rainy season was basically ending in March, it would get hot by April, and it would be sunny until mid-December. I think that may be more of a "I need some variety" thing than a depressive state though...
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
That's true -- there is a better probability of sunshine in SoCal in the winter months. SoCal has about 30 days of rain per year, NorCal about 60. That gives you 30 extra days of rain spread out over, say, four months, which is an extra day of rain every four days. That doesn't mean each of those days is sunny in SoCal while it's raining in NorCal (it could be cloudy), but some of them will be.
Generally correct. I think 35-40 days of rain is more accurate for the SoCal coast whereas 58-75 days of rain would be accurate for the Bay Area (North Bay gets more rainy days than the South Bay).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
I don't think the TOTAL number of sunny days per year is that different between most NorCal and SoCal cities, as Sacramento and LA have about the same annual amount of sunshine, and SF and SD have about the same, but they're distributed differently throughout the year.
.

You are completely correct about SF and SD (we're talking the Bay side of SF...the ocean side of SF is definitely cloudier)...but otherwise SF & SD have about the same amount of sunshine with different distributions. Winter is actually the sunniest time of year in SD, despite it being the rainy season and May/June is the cloudiest time for SD. Of course, by then the days are longer, so it's not as depressing. For SF and NorCal more generally, the cloudiest time of year is the winter rainy season.

Sacramento & L.A. is more of a dicey comparison. L.A. is so big and geographically diverse, that the amount of sunshine varies a lot within the city limits...from roughly the same amount as the sunny part of San Francisco on the coast to a lot sunnier as you get downtown or into the San Fernando Valley.

I think the weather stats for Sac indicate that it gets 78% of the possible amount of sunshine, which is more than anywhere in L.A....although parts of L.A. come fairly close to that number. I think downtown L.A. gets 73% of the amount possible. The SFV probably gets the same or more than downtown L.A. but I don't think there is any data, unfortunately. Where Sacramento comes up short is in the winter. It gets less than 50% of the possible amount of sunshine in December and January. So you get shorter days and a lot less sun in those 2 months, which wouldn't be good if you have SAD. However, the cloudy period in Sac. is quite short (I remember from living there). By February, it's reasonably sunny and of course July and August are amazingly cloudless and sunnier than summers in the deserts of the Southwest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tstieber View Post
In NorCal, it's cloudier in the winter when the days are short. In SoCal, it's cloudier in the late spring when the days are long. Either way, given the relatively high amount of sunshine across the entire state, compared to other countries, if you get Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Bay Area, then there aren't many parts of the world you'll make it in!
Yes, that's quite correct. SoCal is clearly the better option for winter sun, though. But after studying weather data from around the world, I was surprised to learn that America is actually pretty sunny compared to most other parts of the world (even the East Coast & Midwest). Japan is often cloudy. Europe...cloudy. Asia outside the deserts is similar. Even Brazil, while warm, doesn't have as many sunny days as Florida (in general).
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:24 PM
 
Location: California / Maryland / Cape May
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Part of the problem is the diet of processed crap that passes for food in America. The Mediterranean diet prevalent in Spain and Italy has been shown to reduce incidence of depression by around 30%.

Mediterranean Diet May Fight Depression
Given my ethnicity, I was raised on a Mediterranean diet, yet I still suffer from severe SAD. This may help some, but clearly it's not an end-all cure.

I absolutely agree that a sound diet is of upmost importance, though, for countless reasons.

And just to be factually correct, the Mediterranean diet was originally based off the diet of Greece and southern Italy (the cuisine of northern Italy is much different).

Last edited by SunnyTXsmile; 11-04-2012 at 07:32 PM..
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
Part of the problem is the diet of processed crap that passes for food in America. The Mediterranean diet prevalent in Spain and Italy has been shown to reduce incidence of depression by around 30%.

Mediterranean Diet May Fight Depression
Do they take into account other factors, like climate? I can think of other reasons that folks in the Mediterranean region would have less depression than northern Europe.
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