Confessions of a Weather Wimp

by On January 9, 2014 in General

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Is that a storm brewing over the Golden Gate bridge? credit: kconnors.

Is that a storm brewing over the Golden Gate bridge?
credit: kconnors.


While I’ve always been proud to be a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, I have a confession: overall, we’re a population of weather wimps around here. It’s a bit embarrassing.

Sure, we’re aware of the comparative weather realities faced by folks in other regions: the frigid winters, the need to dig through snow to reach your cars or front doors. We appreciate that your winter storms include lightening, thunder, giant hail, and knock-you-down winds. Heck, millions of you just earned your “I-Survived-The-Polar-Vortex-of-2014″ medals. It’s impressive, to be sure.

Yet those facts somehow become moot when we weather wimps deal with our version of “bad weather.”? (Ironically, we’re pretty tough earthquake survivors, but winter throw-down warriors? Not so much.)

Take the term “storm watch” used incessantly by local newscasters. It’s invoked whenever there are clouds on the horizon and windshield wipers are used. “Get those umbrellas folks, we’ve got a major storm front coming!”? Good heavens, some one might step in a puddle.

Not everyone has dealt with weather like this! credit: kconnors.

Not everyone has dealt with weather like this!
credit: kconnors.

Yes, there’s occasional flooding here in winter, but we’re not in a tsunami zone. Wind may down tree branches, but we’re not in tornado alley. It can be chilly, but we have to drive for hours to see snow. Around here, no one is talking about wind chill, snow days, or wearing four layers of clothes.

Recently, a blast of artic air came through our mild-weather region and temperatures dropped to the – gasp – freezing point. Welcome to our nightmare: citrus trees still blooming in December needed covering! Kids could see their breath when they spoke! Folks had to find hats and gloves! (Notably, I saw some rugged individualists wearing shorts and sandals anyway.)

I’ve always had friends who moved here from places with true winters like ?Chicago, Michigan, New England, and Canada.? Curiously, after some time living in this moderate weather region, these transplants invariably start to shiver when the temperature drops below 60. They become, well, a bit weather wimpy themselves.

They seem a bit puzzled, too. Perhaps they’ve acclimated to the new weather scene. Or as one of my Bookboard colleagues, a Canadian transplant, reflected: “Maybe it’s because I got rid of all my actual winter clothes!” I’ve learned that we have no clue about what constitutes a ‘proper winter coat’ around here.

My husband is also a native with a weather wimp upbringing, but we are in agreement: we don’t want to raise a weather-wimp kid.? We believe children should experience the range of ways Mother Nature paints the seasons, including the beauty and challenges of winter. So we’re glad that our daughter is hankering for snow trips. We plan to oblige. Now if we can just stop wringing our hands over the idea of driving with snow chains.


Diana is a sociologist, freelance writer and mom, though rarely in that order. Her writing spans topics from parenting joys and challenges to prevention education. She writes a monthly parenting blog for Yahoo and has published feature articles on adoption, family rituals and the childcare industry for parenting publications. Diana earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. These days find her hanging with her husband and book-loving six year old in the San Francisco Bay Area, while happily blogging and serving as a reading advocate for Bookboard.


  1. Amie A.

    January 9, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    I grew up in WV with hot, sticky summers and frigid, snowy winters. I hated both extremes. Living in and experiencing San Francisco weather for several years was heavenly. And I, too, became pretty weather wimpy. But happily so! I missed autumn but having 50-70 weather most of the year was worth it to me. Now that I am back in WV and experiencing seasonal extremes again, I am having a terrible time adjusting. It’s rough. Don’t you worry about your weather wimpiness; I think you’re lucky.

    • Diana

      January 10, 2014 at 2:17 am

      Amie, it sounds like your bi-coastal experiences have made you weather-wise. I guess your story shows there are some weather/season pros and cons in both regions, eh? Sorry to hear its a tough adjustment in WV (but when we have the next quake out here, you’ll be glad!)

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