“Spring won’t let me stay in this house any longer!
I must get out and breathe the air deeply again.”
~ Gustav Mahler,
Austrian 19th Century Late-Romantic composer
No doubt the sentiment expressed in the above quotation reflects the joyous feeling as springtime arrives to the Austrian Alps. The location of which it speaks may differ, but the words are just as fitting to our foothills. Last Saturday, as if by some gravitational force, I was pulled outdoors; nothing could have kept me in. Almost without intent, shrubs were pruned, flowers planted and three green-waste bins filled. Abby provided much-needed assistance, digging into the rocky soil. Our springtime is no less eventful than in those regions with frigid and snowy winters.
An old and very wise rule of good manners dictates that in polite company it’s not proper to speak of religion or politics. To avoid conversational confrontation, the neutral subject of weather is usually considered a safe one. Nowadays, “shooting the breeze” about weather can even become a little heated as casual talk can easily drift into climate change and/or “So, where’s El Niño?”(as sandbags sit in wait). The first has become so politically loaded I veer away from it. The second is still safe subject material.
April showers or spring showers are always welcomed as they often provide our last measurable precipitation until fall. Many sources give encouragement for their arrival. Bob Gregg, local meteorologist and keeper of 61 years of impeccable weather statistics – some dating back to Noah – shared some interesting facts. April’s rainfall average is 1.72 inches. In 1965 the foothills received a drenching 9.25! At his personal station, he recorded over two inches 15 times in April; the latest was 2.52 in 2012. There remains hope.
NWS meteorologists have labeled the period from now into next week a “complicated forecast.” I call it exciting! Temperatures reached 94 degrees, accompanied by Santa Ana winds, on Wednesday. Within a 24-hour period, a 25-degree temperature drop and incoming low pressure systems make for a sharp weather change. Buried within all the turmoil is a good chance for rain. The first storm is expected today (Thursday), described by the NWS as a “off and on, hit and miss variety.” Quickly following, a second and stronger system comes in Friday and stays through Sunday.
On the optimistic side, when all is said and done, these April showers may bring one inch of rain. By the looks of our yard, the flowers couldn’t wait ’til May!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at email@example.com.