“Now the frost is in the air,
Blue the haze at early dawn.
There is color everywhere …”
– Edgar A. Guest
It’s January and my roses are at their height of beauty. Crimson-colored leaves off the liquid amber carpet the ground. Summer is long past and autumn ended with the winter solstice. Roses and falling leaves combine with the wind, cold temperatures, rain, and mountain snow to create foothill’s winter landscape. Add the seasonal visit and final touch of Jack Frost, and the picture is complete.
Last weekend’s storm came earlier than expected and rained steadily for a only a short time. The rainfall total was less than a half inch. Noticing snow on Mount Lukens, we grabbed jackets, a son, and – not to be left behind – our dog Abby, and headed into the mountains in search of “good” weather. A short, half hour drive up Angeles Crest saw several inches of snow accumulated before the snow plows came through or chains were required. A snow flurry continued, almost of Mammoth or Yosemite quality.
What is it about dogs and snow? With a prompting whine from the back seat, we safely (4WD) pulled off the highway into one of those “magical” areas that appears when it snows. As far as I know, they serve only two purposes: The first, for children to build snowmen, throw snowballs and sled. And the other for dogs to run faster and crazier than deemed possible. Thanks for the entertainment, Abby! A few very short years ago, it was provided by the boys…
Who is this Jack Frost character, anyway? According to legend, in the frigid cold regions of Russia, there lived a caring and generous artist and son of the Norse god of wind, Jokul Frosti (Icicle Frost). He immigrated to England and shared his artistic talent. During the winter, residents would awaken and find their world touched by sparkling silver. Window sills, lampposts, trees and even blades of grass glistened in the morning sun. The English people soon discovered the creator of this spectacular art exhibit and adopted him as their own – “Jokol” became Jack Frost.
Legends by definition are historically based – fact and fiction combined. Science attempts to mess with Jack’s story. I guess there is no avoiding the hardcore facts. Meteorologically, Jack Frost is referred to as frost. Cold temperatures, winds and clear skies are the contributing factors that come together. Given these, frost forms when water vapor freezes. It completely bypasses the liquid stage of water. A common misconception is frost and frozen dew are the same. Good news! Jack Frost and “frost” are interchangeable.
Greeting the New Year from our front porch, it was 38 degrees … brrr. Upcoming weather continues in a similar pattern, with days around 60 and nights in the 30s. With gusty NE winds, frost and a chance of weekend rain … welcome 2013!
Record Temperatures: Jan. 3
– High 84 (1969)
– Low 30 (1952)
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.