Microclimates

My beloved told me that San Francisco was a city of micro-climates.

I read several books on the matter that explained how, and why, San Francisco was a city of microclimates.

I even went so far as explaining to my mother (and others) in deeply knowledgeable-sounding tones that San Francisco (they should understand) is what you might call a city of microclimates.

Sometimes I speak to people at home and they ask if it is cold and foggy, as they have heard San Francisco is, and I say Microclimates! and then we move on to another topic very quickly before they have to go through me struggling to explain complex meteorological phenomena once more.

So what, Anna I hear you ask, might that mean? What ARE microclimates? What does it all MEAN.

Well, darling reader – it means that there are climates, but they are very very little!

Um. And thats it! I think!

Its because the city of San Francisco is on a promontory with the cold North Pacific on one side and a nice warm sheltered bay on the other side, and very big hills right in the middle of the city. Therefore while one side of the city might be cold and foggy and grey, another bit might be windy, and another bit again might be bright and sunny and hot.

I, of course, demanded we live in the sunbelt for SAD reasons. This is apparently the hottest time of the year, but even so; the sun has shone, hot and hard, every single day. Its good. I like it.

But thats only consistent in my part of town. And knowing about microclimates in theory is a very different thing to experiencing them in practice. They said that weather in one part of the city is no indication of weather on the other side: And fuck me, they werent kidding about. The first time I crossed the city without expecting it. I came out of the house wearing light clothes, sunglasses, flip flops and a thin layer of sweat. We climbed on a Muni-tram thing, which clunked and crunked its way through tunnels, down streets and up hills. Id noticed the clouds hanging over the top of the hill earlier in the day, but hadnt really connected.

As we headed over the hump, the people outside suddenly started wearing fleeces and overcoats. Flip-flops and sandals were replaced by trainers and boots. Someone walked past swinging an umbrella.

On the Muni, people opened their bags and brought out layers of clothing theyd had concealed within. These people are clever, and should probably write instructional books.

I would totally read those.

By the time we got to the other side of the city, I had goosepimples on my arms. We stepped down and went for a walk on the beach, shivering and cold, puzzled by the complete change in season brought about by a twenty minute public transport ride.

I am not used to weather being changeable by the city block. It is weird.