“You think that the heads of state only have serious conversations, but they actually often begin really with the weather or,
‘I really like your tie.”
~ Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
Safe conversation topic and a column in the Crescenta Valley Weekly. Is there a connection? Yes, the weather (what else could it be?).
Before I elaborate, what about our weather? Not much change day to day with daytime temperatures in the 90s and nighttimes around 70. Slowly, summer is fading. Evenings bring the most noticeable sign as darkness comes earlier. The weather may be unpredictable by nature, but come Thursday mornings either rain or shine the CV Weekly arrives bringing current news and weather in the foothills.
Ever-changing weather provides for endless polite conversation material. On the other hand, with a similar multitude of dialog possibilities, politics are rarely considered a wise or safe subject choice. What happens when the two come together … as they did at the Republican and Democratic national conventions? A big mess and conundrum. What do you talk about then? Bears running track at CV High School?
With Hurricane Isaac shortening the Republicans time in Tampa and a set of storms in Charlotte prompting a change of venue for President Obama’s speech, the weather entered the political arena. This storm cloud has a silver lining. It seems Mother Nature had her own political platform and her support went to – neither party. So our country stands strong.
The final arbiter of our sunny or cloudy skies has spoken on convention season. She apparently shares her effects, equally and fairly, with Republicans and Democrats alike. The subject of weather is once again safe and clear.
Sunday night, after it cooled down, we took Abby for a walk around the neighborhood.
It was a beautiful summer evening – the sun had set and a few thunderheads lingered over the mountains. As you may know, this is my absolute favorite time of day. But what was that awful smell?
“There aren’t cesspools in La Crescenta … are there?” I pondered. Once again the weather entered into yet another unstable environment and made matters worse – first in politics and now the Salton Sea.
During a heavy rainy period in 1905, the Colorado River overflowed and formed the Salton Sea. The highly saline, fetid waters are shallow, with evaporation greater than the agricultural run off. Massive fish die-offs are common due to oxygen deprivation. Here lies the source of the offensive odor. Sunday night thunderstorms, accompanied by strong winds, created an atmospheric flow transporting the smell into our neighborhood and beyond.
Within a short time, the conventions had concluded and our air quality returned. Back to weather as usual.
As I conclude this, hot gusty offshore winds begin pushing the short-lived cooler days out to sea and temperatures are on the rise – over 100 again. Come the new week, another cool-down. A change of season always brings weather fluctuations and good conversation … “How about this weather?”
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and Official Skywarn Spotter for the National Weather Service. Reach her at