“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.” ~ Alice Hoffman
Rain on Groundhog Day (night, actually). Not much of a shadow appeared as our La Crescenta equivalent of Phil (squirrel or gopher?) poked his head above ground. He retreated before the first drops fell that evening. Spring comes early this year, as tradition predicts. The next day was indeed spring-like as warmer weather placed a pony pack of pansies in one hand and a shovel in the other. Perfect timing, as rain is now forecast.
Weather due to climate changes might affect Valentine’s Day. Something to do with global warming and cacao plants. Hmmm … chocolate!
Keep in mind weather is the day-to-day temperature, rainfall, wind and cloudiness of a region. Climate refers to a synthesis of data averaged long-term, typically 30 years.
Controversy continues over the existence of “global warming.” JPL climatologist Bill Patzert claims it is the real deal. He considerers himself “a data demon.” With the oceans as his lab, he states, “When the Pacific speaks, we better listen.” According to the satellite measurements of water temperatures and surface heights, global warming is evident. But why should See’s Candy be concerned?
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) released a report last year that stated an increase in temperature due to climate change will “adversely impact” the cacao plantations in West Africa. Cocoa production will decline unless growers can adjust to the expected atmospheric temperature increase. Cacao trees need shade, cool temperatures and an annual rainfall of 40-80 inches. The cocoa beans grown in Africa account for 50% of the world’s supply.
The availability of chocolate for Valentine’s Day may limit gift options. And even roses, a good traditional standby, risk damage from temperature fluctuations.
The good news is love can survive, even without chocolate and roses. Facts indicate it may get hotter (the weather, that is) in the upcoming years!
For now, a cold Alaskan low will influence our weather. From early Friday throughout the day there is a 60% chance of rain with gusty winds. Rain totals aren’t great – one inch maybe?
Cold defines our conditions with days in the 40s and dipping into the 30s at night. Another mild warm up returns by Monday. But for now, enjoy a cup of cocoa.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.