Sacramento is known for its hot summers not quite like Phoenix where they go from winter to summer in a matter of a week, but still…HOT! We saw 105+ and more this week. I grew up here in Carmichael and you know as a young kid, I didn’t really think about it. That’s how kids are – it just is. But as I got into high school and played tennis in that blazing sun, I had that wanderlust for cooler places. Unfortunately, events and decisions took me to live in even warmer climes! Southern Italy, Baltimore, Shreveport, Dallas, Scottsdale…what was I thinking? Well, there’s really no place like home.
Visitors to Sacramento who catch us on those 100-degree blazing heat days think we’re crazy. I remember meeting a guy from India who was driving a friend up to Folsom and had been living in the San Francisco Bay Area where it was a bit cooler. He’d never been up here. In conversation, I asked him what he thought of the heat. He laughed and said, “I was talking away to my friend and, you know, the AC was going in the car so when I stopped to get gas in Davis and got out, I thought my engine was on fire because it was so hot!” Honestly, that’s one of my favorite stories because that sort of captures the intensity of what it feels like to the unsuspecting. Understand that I’ve lived in Phoenix, so I personally was used to hotter (can you say 122 degrees while 8 months pregnant?). And worse still, I think, is humidity! Living in Louisiana was draining with watery heat.
But we have one thing going for us here in the Sacramento Valley at least MOST of the time. We have the Delta Breeze. So, what is the Delta Breeze and does everyone feel it? The Delta Breeze makes our hot summers enjoyable. It makes outdoor living pleasant here.
Summer evenings in the Sacramento area are usually tempered by this simple phenomenon where marine air funnels up through the Carquinez Strait into the Delta and fans out into the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. We usually start feeling it at dusk and the temperature rapidly cools down to a breezy and tolerable evening. Air over water tends to cool so the air funneled up through the delta and over our river system provides a reprieve. The air can cool by more than 10 degrees and more especially overnight where the breeze cools things down to a comfortable 70-something temperature before the sun warms things up again the next day. Those closest to the rivers are the biggest beneficiaries. The further out from the river and higher into the foothills the effects are negligible. Lincoln and El Dorado Hills residents don’t enjoy many if any of the benefits.
A lot of folks here have installed whole house fans to take advantage of the Delta Breeze and cooling evenings. These fans are a smart energy saving feature in homes and makes your house comfortable without running the AC.
I’m looking forward to 90 degree days with cooler summer evenings! I’ve lived and visited some other places for sure with typical summers of rain, electric storms, tornadoes (north of Dallas), biting flies (East Coast), pools so hot you think it’s a hot tub (Phoenix) and sapping humidity that makes you wonder why you bothered to shower (Louisiana) are the norm. Sacramento does get hot, but the Delta Breeze makes it hospitable and makes it easy to enjoy a comfortable outdoor lifestyle. That’s why I call it a lifestyle to call home!
I’m happy to share my knowledge and to compare points with other locales because I think we have it pretty good! Just ask me!