You may not know the way to San Jose, but you know that it is in the Bay Area and is home to many high-tech companies. Yet, what more is there to this bustling metropolis? We have created this short preview of the wildlife, people, and climate of the Capital of Silicon Valley to give you a better idea of what to expect here.
San Jose has a booming population of over one million people. The latest census numbers from 2010 show that nearly 43 percent of the population is white, more than three percent is African-American, nearly a third of the population self-identifies as Asian, and another third are Hispanic. These numbers add up to more than 100 percent because people fit into multiple categories. A little bit more than half the population is men, and one in ten residents are aged 65 years or older.
The mild climate and strong economy make San Jose a popular place for people of all nationalities to settle. Almost 40 percent of San Jose residents were born outside of the United States. 56 percent of the city’s population speaks a language other than English at home. The City of San Jose has created a map of where the predominant ethnic communities are located. For instance, there are specific areas where Hispanic and Asian people tend to live.
Like most of the Bay Area, San Jose has a subtropical Mediterranean climate. If you love the sun, San Jose is the place to live since it gets an average of more than 300 sunny days per year. It is surrounded on three sides by mountains, so it has a semiarid feel with a mean annual rainfall of fewer than sixteen inches. The average high temperatures range from the low 80s in the summer to upper 50s in December and January. The last time San Jose had a snowfall that stuck was in 1976.
Due to the mild climate, there are rarely extreme weather events. The most recent was a heavy thunderstorm in 1968 that caused some flooding. Earthquakes are a much bigger threat since San Jose is located between the Calaveras Fault and the San Andreas Fault. Each year on average, there are one or two earthquakes of four or higher on the Richter scale.
The City of San Jose has a web page devoted to giving tips on how to prepare for an earthquake or other emergencies. You can also choose to get emergency notifications by phone or tune into emergency radio stations.
San Jose is not all earthquakes. There are plenty of plants and animals to enjoy even within the city limits. In the Guadalupe River, which flows through the city, you can spot King and steelhead salmon. San Jose is also blanketed with a wide array of wildflowers.
There are very few lethal creatures to worry about. The Western Rattlesnake has been sighted in remote parts of the city. A bigger concern is poison oak, which can be found in unkempt parks. Remember “leaves of three, let it be.”
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