Weather in the Foothills

“Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.”
Kin Hubbard, American cartoonist
Wow! We can really “start a conversation” as the weather did really change. In fact, the last two weekends had temperatures that differed by a little over 40 degrees. The first one presented temperatures slightly over 100 degrees, and the second was misty and cold. As mentioned before, the transition from one season into the next can be a little on the jumpy side.

Two weekends ago, the A/C was blasting and a wildfire was burning; in contrast, last weekend, light rain fell and the only visible smoke was that from chimneys. The alternating weekend weather pattern continues as once again heat returns in the upcoming days – it is expected to be extreme.

Election years are an excellent time to improve our conversation skills, using “weather” (“climate” is a no, no!) as the topic. Weather during the summer can get a little damp and sticky as thunderstorms move in; but, on the other hand, political discussion can overtake you like … well, imagine a flash flood. So, the following are a few interesting weather extremes that may help counter or prevent a conversation from falling over the edge of civility.

• The highest natural air temperature on Earth was recorded in California. In Furnace Creek, Death Valley 1913 it supposedly reached 134 degrees. Claimed “a myth” by some weather historians, the area still maintains the record with 129 degrees in 1960.

• The lowest natural air temperature on Earth was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica. In 1983 it dropped to -128.6 degrees.

• The fastest air temperature rise was in Spearfish, S.D.; it climbed 49 degrees in two minutes.

• The most drastic drop in air temperature on Earth was in Rapid City, S.D.; it fell 49 degrees in five minutes.

• And the highest ever recorded annual rain total goes to Meghalaya, India: 1,042 inches!

As I conclude, our upcoming weather is not only worthy of conversation, but also comes with concern and warnings. Beginning Friday and into next week, a massive and strong high-pressure area will establish over New Mexico and Arizona. A record-breaking heatwave will result.

Sunday marks not only Father’s Day but also the first day of summer. Temperatures are expected to reach 110 degrees – 25 degrees above normal for this time of year. With the heat comes an elevated fire danger and possible thunderstorms. Plan activities accordingly.

A weather observation: In Orlando, Florida, people stood in long lines during a rainstorm, waiting to donate blood. Good reigns over evil.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at

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