“Then comes the snow in its beauty,
Each flake a pattern of lace
That floats in the air, so gently;
Then finds its own, special place.”
~ Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, “God is an Artist of Nature” (1940s)
Miracles and the unexplained happen this time of year. Last Saturday, unbeknownst to the National Weather Service, a heavy snow blanketed Two Strike Park. You had to be there to see it! That evening, just as the snow began to melt in the northern regions of the Crescenta Valley, focus turned south to Montrose. Witnessed by many, Santa Claus was spotted flying over Honolulu Avenue at a concerning low altitude. Besides the possible safety issue, he was also hollering out the window at folks below. Surprisingly, no comment was released by the FAA. If those weren’t enough, a celebration began on Monday night, the Jewish Festival of Lights – Hanukkah, a real miracle.
In the 2nd century B.C. an uprising occurred as the Greek-Syrian kingdom tried to force their culture upon the Jewish people by desecrating the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. A revolt was led by the Maccabees, the priestly leaders who formed a Jewish rebel army, to fight the oppressors. After years of conflict the Jews were victorious. As they returned to the temple the weather was cold and the hours of daylight short; it was the Hebrew month of Kislev, which falls between November and December on the Gregorian calendar. After many warring years, oil supplies were low. It was not a great time for a victory celebration. One precious vial of oil was left – enough for one day – but it burned for eight entire days, the amount of time needed to acquire a fresh oil supply. An eight-day festival was declared to commemorate the miracle – Hanukkah.
The long awaited rains of El Niño are beginning to feel rather elusive. October, November and now into December have been mostly dry as storms one after another slip by. Rains did fall to the north and in the Sierra Nevada and the Eastern Sierras got moderate snowfalls, but what about us? No worries … El Niño is maintaining its record-breaking intensity with its arrival soon.
Clouds and cooling, intermingled with raindrops, are expected through next week. Rain gauge and umbrella are on stand by. Real rainy weather may come just in time for Christmas. Another miracle on the way …
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.