“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
And resign yourself to the influences of each.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Didn’t spring end weeks ago?” you may ask. Yes, correct you are. But I am referring to the 2011-12 rainy season (or not-so-rainy season) that ended on June 30. The new one already started on July 1 – the 2012-13 season. Nothing to measure yet, except high temperatures. Heat-wise our summer got off to an early start, with spring temperatures above normal. Hopefully, the weather will not continue with this intensity throughout the rest of the season. Great for the 4th of July, but 90-degrees plus for the next few months!? Thoreau’s above quotation may be of some solace as summer progresses.
Why do meteorologists start measuring rainfall in July? Doesn’t seem to make much sense. The beginning of our wet weather doesn’t even hit until November at the earliest… if we are lucky. And the brunt arrives after the first of the year.
Here is the answer, and it pertains mostly to Southern California:
The weather tracks California rainfall on a July 1 to June 30 timescale. Meteorologists prefer to analyze annual precipitation patterns as a whole, clumping all the storm’s rain production together, within a single season. Using the typical January to December calendar would create a break in the natural December to March grouping of rain data.
So to best track and research Southern California climate, the NWS uses a July to June time frame, i.e. our rainfall season. I wouldn’t worry about needing an umbrella quite yet, although it might be a good time to find one on clearance!
Back to post 4th of July summer and its heat.
Temperatures dropped a few degrees for the holiday as an onshore flow moved further inland. Not for long, though, as weekend temperatures are predicted to reach 100 degrees.
The following are a few basic reminders to help you stay cool… Oh, yes thank-you, Abby (our golden dog). She just reminded me not to forget our furry companions.*
If you’re without air conditioning due to outages or for any reason:
• Limit activities to morning and evening
• Drink plenty of water
• Take a cool shower
• Go to the library, mall or theater
• Visit a friend with AC
Also, Southern California Edison has “cooling stations” for heat-sensitive customers. For more info, check www.sce.com/coolcenters.
*Our pets need:
• Plenty of fresh water (inside and outside). Abby likes ice!
• A shady place to hang out
• Walks before and after the heat of the day
• Not to be left in the car – even if the window is left opened
• A summer fur-cut
One last note: wading pools are not only for kids! But always use caution around water.
Summer is here! It’s clear warm evenings, night blooming jasmine and night-long mockingbird/cricket serenades that help to soothe the heat of the day.
Enjoy, as Thoreau suggests.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.