A scrap of paper tucked in a drawer reads
“seasons are subtle on the Central Coast.”
I wrote that note to myself several years ago.
It was mostly true, and I liked the alliteration.
Our seasons generally are subtle:
no snow, no searing heat or tropical humidity,
no freezing temperatures with sleet and ice,
no hurricanes, tornados, or blizzards.
Our weather, moderated by the ocean,
brings mostly mild temperatures, fog, wind.

But this winter of 2023 was not subtle.
Atmospheric rivers followed one after another,
saturating the ground, causing floods and mudslides,
blocking roads, overflowing creeks, turning the bay a muddy brown.
Downpours, hail, gale-force winds, lasting for weeks.
No, this winter and spring weather was not subtle.
Who knows what summer will bring?

:: Juliane McAdam