“Seems it never rains in Southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before …”
~ Albert Hammond, English pop/rock songwriter, musician and vocalist
A hint of autumn was in the air over Labor Day Weekend. Mornings were a mere 60 degrees and daytime only reached the mid-80s. Come evening it was cool enough to grab a light sweater before heading out on a walk with Abby. For first time readers, I am referring to our golden retriever; the sweater was for me. By 7:45 it was almost dark. The seasons are changing …
Late afternoon, a few days ago, I was outside gardening. An older couple was out for a stroll. Upon seeing me, they stopped for a few minutes and we exchanged a few pleasantries. Those included, “The weather is lovely and so much cooler.”
“Yes, fall is coming.”
“It’s high-time for a break in the heat,” and so forth.
We also agreed we should not be too optimistic or get too excited because more hot days were still likely. In parting, the gentleman added, “You can never be certain as to what the mailman may bring.” I’m not exactly familiar with this saying, but I will assume it relates to the weather.
Weather-wise, what’s happening come fall and into spring? After the disappointing 2015-16 El Niño in Southern California, the scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), National Weather Service and many others may need a break. I just received The Old Farmer’s-2017-Almanac; it’s the anniversary issue celebrating 225 years! Its weather forecasts are formulated from a secret formula and claim an 80% accuracy rate. It integrates basic meteorology, climatology and current weather patterns plus it includes the study of sunspots or magnetic storms on the sun’s surface.
The main ingredient in the “secret formula” is comparing solar patterns (sun spots) and historical weather events with current solar activity. For fun, let’s check out the Old Farmer’s 2016-17 prediction for our region – the Pacific Southwest. In summary, it claims winter temperatures and rainfall will be below normal. Until then …
With astonishment, I watched the progression northward of Hurricane Newton. Last week, on the “11:00 Eyewitness News,” foothills resident and weatherman Dallas Raines made mention of the storm blossoming into a hurricane. I heard no more; due to the late hour, perhaps it was a dream. Not so! Yesterday, Newton’s remnants moved into Arizona and with the possibility of movement west over the San Gabriel Mountains. Moisture plus a bit of instability equal rain? This weekend and beyond, the cooler-than-normal regime continues. Temperatures, due to the marine intrusion and winds, will vary ever so slightly. So our neighborly exchange holds true… “You can never be certain….”
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.