You've explained it to people who live elsewhere, and explained it, and used poster board and fat markers and maps and charts: Summer is different in Southern California.
Very different. It doesn't kick off here, truly, until the Fourth of July, and it wraps up around Halloween. But regardless of how many times we go over our local brand of meteorological quirkiness with out-of-towners, it can still be hard to weather the weather when it hits 100 in October.
As it will on Saturday, Oct. 4 in cities from Pasadena to Anaheim. What the what? Exactly. You know it is still technically summertime here, and yet Halloween costumes and Christmas ornaments line the store shelves, and the autumn longing grows, even as we again dig out our bikinis.
Need some holiday-type wintry cool-down options for the October scorch-out? Find 'em at...
NIGHTTIME EVENTS: Happenings out in the al fresco air increase come October, when many spooky to-dos land in our area gardens and graveyards. Two places rocking the night dew and temps in the 70s (when the sun goes down)? Descanso Gardens, which will feature over 5,000 jack o'lanterns, and Mountain View Cemetery, which is the atmospheric stage for a Dracula play (and more). Recommendation: Soak in the cool outdoors, by night.
NATIONAL VODKA DAY: Good timing on this one, planners of countrywide grown-up beverage holidays. The day celebrating the clear spirit happens to coincide with the hottest day of the heat wave -- Saturday, October 4 -- and several spots are celebrating with icy concoctions. Messhall Kitchen is mixing a Sins of Summer cocktail concocted with Loft & Bear vodka in honor of the day, if that's your bag. More of a bubbly person? A Krug Champagne dinner at Michaels on Naple's kicks the heat wave off on Oct. 2. Recommendation: Enjoy a cold beverage, responsibly.
WATER (SWIMMING AND SNOW): We're not going to tell you all about the large body to our immediate west, because you've likely heard rumor of it, but if you fear the busyness of the beaches during the hot weather -- and they shall bustle -- you can always find a county swimming pool. As far as the cold, cold water goes, Mammoth got a "dusting" of snow over the final weekend in September. Much is melted, though peaks are still running white. Closer at hand? Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead show highs in the low 70s. Who knew the low 70s would seem positively glacial come October? Recommendation: Find water, wet or frozen.
Okay, October heat wave. We know: It's still technically summertime here. But enough. Leaves are starting to go crimson here and there, and we don't want the trees getting confused. Scorch it out, then be on your way, and if you see some rain, tell it we all said "hey" and it should swing by soon.