Don’t let this week’s warm weather erase the memories. Last week saw chilly 45-degree evenings and mid-week rain showers.
According to the National Weather Service, last week’s cold spell broke record lows in Northern California and the Sacramento area from 50 years ago. Some northern cities, such as Redding, broke records from 1946.
UC Davis atmospheric science professor Bryan Weare explained the cold weather, as 2010 is an El Niño year.
El Niño is a weather phenomenon that occurs every four to seven years when the water in the Pacific Ocean is warmer than usual. For California, this means wetter and cooler weather.
In addition, during El Niño years, meteorologists can predict weather and temperature fluctuations further in advance. Usually the weather service can only predict rain or shine a few weeks in advance, not months, Weare said.
“[It was] predicted to be cooler [this year], but not as cool as it’s been,” he said. “It has been exceptionally cold and rain has lasted long.”
Juniors Brittney Ciszek, a neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, and Prina Patel, an exercise biology major, are experiencing their third spring in Davis. This is the first year for them that jackets and rain-boots were brought out of the closet after mid-May.
“I’d wear shorts and then it’d be cold outside,” Patel said. “It’s more annoying than anything.”
“I was unprepared for it,” Ciszek said about the rainstorms. “It’s noticeably colder. And I don’t bike when it rains. So I biked more last [spring].”
For the rest of this week, temperatures in Northern California will continue into the 80s. Unlike most Davis springs, this May saw few days that reached 90 degrees or higher.
SASHA LEKACH can be reached at email@example.com.