Surviving The Polar Vortex In Southern California


This Polar Vortex is really starting to affect my life, and I’ve about had it. Not only are we Southern Californians having to endure one of the harshest winters in US history, but we don’t even get the sympathy of the media—or social media for that matter. Oh no, it snowed in Tennessee. Tweet me a screenshot about it. Boo hoo, there’s traffic in Atlanta. A couple days of stop-and-go? Welcome to our everyday. That’s nothing compared to what we’ve had to endure. What about our problems? We were affected too. This is what we’ve been going through.

What’s an average day like in the Polar Vortex in Southwestern America? Well, it might as well be a nightmare come to life. Let’s begin on a Tuesday morning around 6:15 PDT when I woke up to a typical alarm to go to work on time. No snow days out west, people. We get to work no matter the conditions. Except this morning getting out of bed it felt like I was a bear forced out hibernation in February. Not equipped or ready for the cold front that just passed through town. 51 degrees at sunrise! Are you kidding? I don’t have an overcoat. I had to put my doctor on speed dial in case my bare fingers contracted frost bite.

As I sat in my car and prepared my Miley Cyrus Pandora station as per my weekday ritual, I looked up from my cracked iPhone screen and noticed some odd and unique moisture on my windshield. Dew. Now I was in a tight spot. See, I bought my car back in July and I had no idea where or how to turn the windshield wipers on. I had never needed them before. What a hassle! Not to mention the light layer of fog early on in the day. Do I turn my headlights on? Should I make a complete stop at stop signs? What are the rules for inclement weather on the roads? Damn you, Vortex.

In fact, this day had been so bleak the sun hadn’t even burned off the foggy marine layer until nearly noon. Noon, I tell you! Even the temperature was frigid, with a high of 72 and low of 49. The forties! Thank goodness we hit our high and dodged our low, otherwise we might’ve frozen to death. I decided to participate in the Twitter buzz and screenshot my weather app displaying the partly cloudy icon. My feed came alive with you Northeasterners who think you’ve had it tough and you Southerners who complain about the cold. Empathize with us. We’re suffering too. In fact, my house isn’t equipped with any heating capabilities. Two space heaters in a beach house in the Polar Vortex? Might as well be an Eskimo ice fishing in the Arctic. We can’t even use our microwave while the space heater is plugged in, so I can’t even indulge in pizza rolls without sacrificing warmth. You try to choose between food and comfort.

I thought to myself, “I’ll just go for a sunset swim in the Pacific. Try to forget about the frigid weather.” I mean, I’d have to bring an extra towel to ensure I dry all of the Pacific’s mild water off, but that idea went out the window promptly as my bare feet stepped into the chilly sand. Thanks to a storm surge, the waves were fifteen feet high. Like any competent Californian, I still believe I have the upper body strength to survive the gushing ice bath, but the lifeguards were on strict order not to let swimmers in the ocean. Did you guys have lifeguards telling you where you can and can’t swim? Didn’t think so. Life is hard out here.

We’re hanging in out here. Bundled in flannel sheets and space heaters on full blast, we’re going to make it through this. Let’s do it together. Stop neglecting your western brethren and let’s put the “we” in team as we outlast the Polar Vortex. United we stand.

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