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Is It Really That Cold? Why Californians Tend To Freeze In The Winters

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Yes, Los Angeles’s cold weather season isn’t as intense as the actual weather events we see across the United States. With temperatures usually ranging between 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit, L.A. boasts some pretty nice weather that brings people in from everywhere. Yet, with the comparatively nicer weather conditions, we Southern Californians still constantly complain about being cold. As an L.A. native, I too agree that it gets cold here in ways that feel completely different than other temperate climates, and I know other Angelenos will agree with me on this. Here are four reasons why L.A. winters are actually cold:

We don’t have the clothes for the weather

Currently, I think 80% of my tops in my closet are tank tops, and the warmest thing I’ve had to protect me during this cold, rainy winter is a single leather jacket. I’ve found that going anywhere outside of the state in the winter or spring months requires me to go buy some warmer pieces.

Humidity is a thing

Humidity is often forgotten when considering the weather, but it still remains a crucial component of the way temperatures change. Ryan Kittel, a meteorologist based in Los Angeles County, brought up the point that since L.A. has a dry climate, heat and moisture tend to evaporate more easily from our skin. This trend makes it harder for our bodies to retain natural temperatures!

our standard architecture may not be up to par

Until 1974, it wasn’t required for California residences to be insulated, meaning that housing structures allowed a lot of cold air in. On top of that, older windows oftentimes haven’t been adjusted to accommodate cold weather. Given the vast amount of old infrastructure and hesitancy towards restructuring old buildings, L.A. buildings and homes can have a really hard time retaining heat during cold conditions.

we’re just used to Warm Weather

It takes 10-20 days for the average person to acclimate to their location’s weather, meaning anyone moving in from colder states will notice the cold a lot more once they’ve adjusted to the average temperatures. Combined with all of these other factors, it seems as though Angelenos have just adjusted to warm temperatures with the occasional drop during the winter.

Girl In Snow With Jean Jacket
Anna Thetard / Her Campus

Overall, cold weather may not happen super often in L.A., but drops in temperature are not completely off the radar. Remember, California has been subjected to the effects of El Ninos, which drastically change average conditions on the Western coast of the United States every few years. Given this phenomenon and the sudden drops on random weeks in the spring, I choose to believe our winters are valid, despite being a little different than the rest.

Madenn is a fourth-year Political Science student with a minor in Conservation Biology at UCLA. She is passionate about all things environment, pop culture, and activism!