“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck
My father would appreciate that quote more than most, given his affinity for summer. I too am a big fan of hot weather – which brings me to my thought: Winter is different.
What I mean is for all the differences between Southern and Central California – especially the Central Coast, the weather, particularly in winter, is different than Greater Los Angeles and vicinity … in other words it’s colder.
I lived most of my life in the L.A. area, having been born and raised in Venice and then living in an assorted amount of places from Ventura County to Orange County. Except for San Diego, the temperature and weather in these places is one of the more mild climes anyone can be a part of.
When I moved to Paso Robles almost a decade ago, I knew there were dissimilarities in climates, but for the most part, there wouldn’t be much difference. And essentially that’s true in the summer half of the year, although the diurnal takes some getting used to. Still, the cold temperatures in Paso Robles compared with L.A. are quite distinct.
“Wine gives a man nothing… it only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.” – Samuel Johnson
Daytime Winter temps in a clear and sunny Paso might not make it much above 40. That’s unheard of in Los Angeles where a clear cool day is always in the 60s. The San Fernando Valley in L.A. can dip into the 20s, but not regularly. On the Central Coast in wine country, we can have low temperatures in the teens. It wasn’t that many years ago that Paso had an 11 degree morning. It used to snow occasionally here in wine country, but the past decade hasn’t seen the white stuff.
A frosty evening isn’t unusual in Paso Robles, such as last weekends Vine Street block party. It was in the 40s in the early evening – but it didn’t deter tens of thousands from coming out on a crisp night.
Favorite time of year?
We have a poll from last year that asked what season in Paso Robles was their favorite and most said either Fall or Winter, which surprised me a bit. Fall colors are amazing here in wine country and the weather is somewhat mild compared to the extremes of Summer and Winter, so that makes some sense. However, Winter can be cold and wet – two things that aren’t attractive to me. Yet folks approve of cooler conditions than the warmth of Summer.
I know, people from most of the rest of the United States and Canada will scoff at these weather comparisons. Nevertheless, when you take a Venice guy out of his moderate elements and place him in more drastic – and in this case colder temperatures – it makes an impression and causes me to expound on it.
Ironically, with all that is said here, this year, we haven’t had a sub-freezing day; and yet we are only one week before Christmas Eve. The garden is still producing tomatoes when normally, it would have been closed down several weeks prior. Also, due to what appears to be an El Nino year, rain has been steady over the last month or so, which has kept temps moderated.
We’ll see how Winter 2015 will react, but for now, I’m okay with the wet and relatively mild temperatures.
Alright, let’s have it. Give me your best shot at my little bit of whining about Winter. 🙂
“And there is quite a different sort of conversation around a fire than there is in the shadow of a beech tree … Four dry logs have in them all the circumstance necessary to a conversation of four or five hours, with chestnuts on the plate and a jug of wine between the legs. Yes, let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” – Pietro Aretino
Daryle W. Hier