As heavy snowfall layers states from Maine to as far south as Kentucky, Isla Vista has received a taste of summer in the heart of February – and everyone from storeowners to beachgoers have benefited.
In celebration, many local residents spent the weekend getting out of house and losing some layers. For some, like former New Hampshire resident Casey Currivan, the sunny weather came as a bit of a shock.
“It’s February, are you kidding me?” Currivan said. “I’m going to cry, I’m so happy.”
I.V.’s recently calm weather and warm temperatures – which are scheduled to decline throughout the rest of the week – follow 10.44 inches of rainfall in the Santa Barbara area in January alone, according to the National Weather Service.
I.V. business owners are also profiting from the recent stint of sunshine. Berrilicious owner Eddie Jung said he believes a clear correlation exists between sunshine and sales.
“We triple in sales on a sunny day compared to a rainy day,” Jung said.
A number of local businesses said that this weekend’s spike in business helped them recover from the drop in foot traffic over the past few weeks. At Isla Vista Surf Company, employee Kristin Martin, a second-year psychology and environmental studies major, said that wetter conditions earlier this quarter kept business to a minimum.
“Definitely, when it rains no one comes in,” Martin said. “The combo of the icky weather and the Super Bowl – no one came in.”
Additionally, business at MG Sports Supplements’ tanning beds improved last weekend. According to assistant manager Renae Beggs, locals want tans to show off now that they are not covered in rain gear.
“With the warmer weather, people want to tan more,” Beggs said. “They’re wearing shorts and bathing suits. I know from most tanning places, summer is the peak season.”
Though I.V. basks in the sun, other parts of the country are currently facing a harsher winter. The National Weather Service has issued multiple warnings – including those for severe thunderstorms, ice storms and floods – for parts of the Midwest through the Northeast. Additionally, the American Red Cross reported that it has opened 14 emergency shelters in response to tornadoes across the Southeast between Feb. 5 and 6.
Meanwhile, third-year communication major Charlie McGoodwin said that he and other students took advantage of the weather by indulging in some summer activities.
“Most other places, it’s 40 degrees,” McGoodwin said. “We’re on the beach, drinking beer, barbecuing and getting less white.”
At Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara, friends Robin Alcorn and Chloe Schenck said they took advantage of the sun by soaking up some rays. Alcorn, a Santa Barbara City College linguistics major, said the sun provided more opportunities for outdoor activity.
“I’m really glad that it’s stopped raining,” Alcorn said. “I can go surfing and the water’s not dirty.”