“In lang, lang days o’ simmer, when the clear and cloudless sky,
Refuses ae wee drap o’ rain to Nature parched and dry.
The genial night, wi’ balmy breath gars, verdure spring anew.
An’ ilka blade o’ grass keps its ain drap o’dew.”
~ James Ballentine, 18th Century Scottish artist and writer
lang – long gars – causes ain – own
‘ilka – each verdue – flowering ae – one
wi’ – with drap – drop simmer – summer
June 30 marked the end of the 2014-15 rain season. The new season began on July 1, the very next day. Even with healthy El Niño conditions continuing to build in the Pacific no real measurable rain will come until fall and winter. The stray monsoonal thundershowers of summer don’t usually amount to much as the rain often evaporates before hitting the ground. The once written, “One wee drop of rain refuses to (fall) on Nature parched and dry …” was a commentary in poem form describing Scottish weather during the summertime. Also it accurately describes conditions throughout the southwest over the past four consecutive rain seasons.
As usual I will post my recorded rain totals for 2014-15. I am also including those from the Crescenta Valley Water District as its rain gauge is geographically more centrally located and therefore better representative of the overall Crescenta Valley. My humble rain gauge, five blocks north of Foothill Boulevard, measured 10.88 inches. CVWD’s gauge finished the rain year with 10.74 inches. Every drop was counted this year!
To conclude and shed light on the 2014-15 rainfall season, the National Weather Service for Los Angeles/Oxnard and NOAA National Climatic Data Center released their findings in several statements. The individual facts in the following summary pertain to the City of L.A. and the entire southwest, so one can surmise it would represent the climatic trend over the entire Los Angeles County as well. Yes, that includes us!
• The past four years have presented “(the) … driest four consecutive rain seasons ever recorded in downtown Los Angeles…” Records began in 1877.
• Across southwestern California rainfall has generally averaged 45% to 55% of normal during this four-year period from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2015.”
• In several locations – from the Great Basin’s southern Rocky Mountains to the West Coast and the Sierras and Cascades – the snow pack totals (a crucial water source) were less than 25% of normal. For California it is the fourth consecutive spring with a below average snow pack.
All highlight the present drought and a desperate need of rain/snow.
The June gloom and its accompanying cooler temperatures arrived late, after the 4th of July, and seem to be in fine form. Now and over the next several days the full impact is expected to dominate weather conditions. According to the forecast, Thursday morning may find local residents picking up the CV Weekly in jackets carrying an umbrella. Temperatures may not even reach 70 degrees and there is a 20% chance of rain. The precipitation source is not to be confused with a winter storm coming from the north; this type results from heavy marine fog moving in off the Pacific Ocean. Weather as such is not unheard of this time of year, just later than normal.
By the weekend, the onshore flow begins to weaken allowing a warm-up to set in. Even so, thus far, the prediction calls for daytime temperatures to stay within the 80s and nights a cool 60 degrees. I know a golden retriever, with a lovely fur coat, who will enjoy the reprieve from the summer heat. No worries Abby; the pool awaits your return. Summer is far from over!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.