Crazy Weather in California


Ken Barnett

A rare view of SCV during a summer storm.

Over the past few weeks, California has experienced extreme weather on opposite sides of the spectrum. There has been extreme heat and extreme rainfall, both causing chaos and confusion amongst residents.

Just a few weeks ago, temperatures were up in the hundreds, with most days averaging 108 degrees fahrenheit. But what caused this heatwave, and what were the effects?

Experts say that the cause of the recent heat wave is a “heat dome” that has formed over California. This heat dome traps in hot air, which creates a lot of pressure and builds up the temperature.

The higher-pressure zones are the most affected. Due to the pressure, clouds are unable to form, which intensifies the heat. These pressures stay in the atmosphere until they are “blown away” by wind, allowing the area to cool slightly.

However, in addition to causing extreme temperatures, the heatwave is also affecting a lot more.

With everyone staying inside and running their air conditioning units to keep cool, the electrical power grid is struggling significantly. There has been an increase in demand for power that the current grid is unable to supply.

In an effort to prevent rolling blackouts, flex alerts were issued to every Southern California resident’s phone, urging them to not turn the AC lower than 78 degrees fahrenheit. This was used to conserve as much energy as possible until 9 p.m., with exceptions for life-saving equipment that needs constant electricity.

This means residents were told to avoid charging their devices (including electric cars), not use televisions, and keep the lights off for as long as possible.

Though it may seem like a small, trivial thing, with thousands of people complying to this request, the power grid is able to have a break.

On the flip side, California also experienced some tropical weather, breaking the heatwave.

Tropical Storm Kay brought incredible amounts of wind and rain to California, shocking Santa Clarita residents with a surprise storm on Sunday, September 4, 2022.

A thunderstorm alert had been issued, but no one could predict the amount of rain we received that afternoon.

People quickly turned to social media sites like Twitter and Instagram to share their videos and pictures of the storm.

Ever since the storm, the weather in California has been a lot cooler, and temperatures will likely continue to drop as we head into fall.