“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.” ~ Jane Austen
I was optimistic about the heat (or lack of) this summer. Yes, June and July, and even into August, we experienced some hot days but nights remained cool. School is back in session, bathing suits have been replaced by Halloween costumes and the calendar says, “It’s about time to say good-bye to the summer of 2013.” But when the temperature reads 85 degrees at 11 p.m., summer is going nowhere fast.
Hot days, okay … Hot nights, not okay. Time to escape! Who cares if it’s Labor Day weekend and crowds and crazy freeways don’t fit our idea of fun? We needed a cool down. For us, there is no better place than the Central Coast where both cool ocean breezes and family reside.
After surprising my sis with our unexpected arrival in Grover Beach, we were also greeted by the anticipated weather. Proximity to water was key for heat relief and access to the dog beach in Avila. Along the Central Coast, temperatures vary greatly depending on the influence of onshore/offshore winds at your exact location. Sound familiar?
“You know what you don’t see many of anymore?” my sister commented while seated next to Abby in the backseat. “Thermometers on banks.”
So began our in-depth conversation about bank thermometers. Yes! Perfect weather column material. I jumped at the chance to research the topic.
To my dismay, historical information was sadly lacking. Nevertheless, there are many facts and memories attached to bank weather tools.
On a corner of Honolulu Avenue in Montrose is Citibank, once Glendale Federal and the first bank thermometer I can remember. We never doubted its accuracy – to do so would have been almost unAmerican. Gone are most of these weather displays.
Enough time has passed to ask this question: In the 1960s, when we drove by (with no A/C) during the summer, was the 102 degree reading correct?
If the thermometer’s sensor is atop a building, near a tar-covered roof, or in the middle of an intersection surrounded by asphalt and concrete, it may give a false reading. For accuracy, the National Weather Service requires a thermometer placed five to six feet above a grassy area with the sensor in a white-painted enclosed casing with louvers on the side to allow the free flow of air. Bank thermometers were usually off by several degrees. But hot is hot!
And it is hot and is predicted to remain so in the upcoming days. A chance for thunderstorms remain, keeping it on the humid side. Triple digits are expected with the bigger story being the nighttime lows. Nights in the valley areas, including CV, are in the mid-80s, lasting until dawn. Even the Central Coast will be hot.
No escaping summer, I guess.
Next week – cooler? Please.
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.