By Sue KILPATRICK
“Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
When summer descends upon us, we often experience a sense of calm. School is out and our homes may be just as busy, but maybe not as hectic. Long planned vacations have arrived. A day at the beach or an evening barbecue with family and friends can come together without much fore thought. Summertime, and its complementary weather, gives us the freedom to enjoy life differently than any other season. As a nation it is a time of great celebration: On July 4th we are all invited to participate in the grandest party of the year – America’s birthday!
I apologize if you dressed according to my weather prediction of the past week. It was time to put away the sweaters for the season, certainly not wear one! Sorry … It was just plain hot, reaching into the low 90s day after day. This heat reminds us it is time to prepare for the upcoming months. Personally, as long as the pool is sparkling clean and Abby has her summer “fur cut,” let the summer begin.
Even more than 200 years ago, as Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, the matter of the weather was not too far from his thoughts.
He was only 33 yrs old. And he was alone, in two rented rooms … in the unairconditioned weather of mid-summertime. Surrounded by the farm fields outside Philadelphia, Thomas accomplished his task with only pen and ink and candlelight. Many historians feel the nature of what transpired in that room was of divine origin. Maybe so. What emerged was the Declaration of Independence. It established us as an independent nation – a perfect synthesis of political philosophy and human rights. It was first distributed here in America and then throughout the civilized world. I’m sure at the time Mr. Jefferson had no idea as to the impact his writings would make. After 17 days in stuffy quarters, he eagerly went out into the fresh air to stretch his legs and buy a new thermometer and barometer. The following was documented in his weather journal:
4 July 1776 – 76 degrees at 1 p.m. (11 below normal), decreasing pressure, SW winds, cloudy by afternoon.
Looking forward to the now celebrated holiday, temperatures above the season norms are predicted, unlike those on that fateful day so many years ago. According to the National Weather service, the following is their exact forecast:
July 4, 2011 (early next week) – High pressure will move into the area.
Sunday still looks like the warmest day, with valley max temps in the 90s with a few above 100-degree readings sprinkled in. It will be a little cooler Monday and Tuesday but still above normal expected on Independence Day. Nighttime lows in the mid 60s.
Enjoy your weekend and take a moment to appreciate the foresight and dedication of those patriotic citizens, past and present.
Happy Birthday, America!
Sue Kilpatrick is a Crescenta
Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service. Reach her at