“In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explodes, and every sunset is different.
~ John Steinbeck, “The Winter of Our Discontent”
Seasonal confusion describes our weather. Our thermometer, to assure an accurate reading sits on a wood surface and in the shade, on Monday reached 102 degrees! The evening continued warm, prompting dogs to alert their owners, “Grab my leash, it’s perfect walking weather.”
Evening changed to night bringing with it the familiar and synonymous sound of summer, the chirping of crickets lulling us to sleep with “a little night music” and warm breezes. By morning, the magic of the night before vanished. A light rain, clouds and much cooler temperatures had moved in.
In less than two weeks, summer officially arrives. This week’s storm is an indication of the change of seasons as it came from the south – Mexico and Baja California. Only a couple weeks prior, storms were still winter-like in nature, originating in the far north – the Gulf of Alaska.
Tuesday’s rain, in spite of possibly giving our windshield wipers one last workout for the season, left without dropping enough rain to measure. The slight and welcomed precipitation was compliments of Hurricane Blanca. I was correct in thinking it was way too early for such a storm. According to the National Hurricane Center, “Blanca is the earliest landfall of a tropical cyclone (same as a hurricane) on record in the Baja California Peninsula.”
Typically hurricane season doesn’t peak for another month. But ready or not Blanca formed reaching a powerful Category 4 hurricane, but lost intensity as it tracked north. Blanca’s leftovers are evidenced by clouds, a chance of showers and humidity that lingered on throughout the southwest. But the storm didn’t stop here! Other storm systems are expected to latch onto remaining atmosphere moisture and recreate and intensify continuing to move east into the Midwest. Intense rain is predicted. The drought is long over in this region.
According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the record start of hurricane season in the Northern Hemisphere is due to the development of a strong El Niño. Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific Ocean began to climb last year. They continued to rise with marked acceleration and strengthening over the past few weeks. Thus far, according to climatologists, ocean temperatures are approximately two degrees warmer than normal. How or will this impact us? Yes! More, next week …
June is considered one of the finest months – not too cold nor too hot. Tropical conditions move on as a typical night through morning cloud pattern resumes – sunny skies by afternoon. Highs in the 80s with lows around 60 degrees are predicted into next week. June’s drifting low clouds create fine sunsets.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.