By Sue KILPATRICK
“In the good ole summertime … you hold her hand and she holds yours …”
— Ren Shields 1902
Glancing at the outside temperature, I am humbled – again – that weather prediction is not an exact science. A strong high-pressure system pushed its way into the southwest and shoved the low pressure and the cool weather associated with it to the north. With temperatures reaching 100 degrees and higher locally, I would say we have been experiencing a heat wave. At last, weather more typical for the end of August.
Weather forecasting is complicated and difficult because it tries to predict the behavior of a system that has many features that are changing constantly. Observation data, coming from hundreds of sources, also feeds into the final weather forecast. I would like to add one more observation to that source list. This is an annual occurrence, which we have all fallen victim to, no matter our age or gender.
Every September and toward the end of August there is a naturally occurring phenomenon: Back To School. Looking back over the years, the first day of school and heat seemed to go hand-in-hand. “Back in the day,” as my son refers to it, we did not have air conditioning in the classrooms at Valley View Elementary. I remember being in first grade making fans out of construction paper to fan ourselves. The annual back-to-school clothes included sweaters, jackets, long sleeved shirts, long pants (for boys only), dresses and skirts (mandatory for girls) and new shoes. Maybe this was fun and exciting for some, but for me it was a shock back to reality. Summer as I knew it was over. Gone were the days of swimming all day, running barefoot and tanned through the neighborhood. Back to school? It was still summer and hot! With foothills schools opening its doors Monday morning, will our children be comfortable in their new school clothes?
This week has brought extreme heat warnings with temperatures well over 100 degrees. Nights have cooled to the upper 60s and have been bathed in moonlight (called the Green Corn Full Moon by Native Americans). Cool weather is coming soon! According to several sources the temperatures this Sunday should be in the mid 70s and lows in the 50s.
And drivers: As we begin this new school year remember to slow down and be safe. Our lives and children are precious.
Sue Kilpatrick is a longtime CV resident and amateur weather watcher. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.