Weather in the Foothills

“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
 – Oscar Wilde

NEW Weather in Foothills ART WEB
Well said. As the transition into fall often feels – one day you’re headed to the beach then, before you know it, Labor Day has passed, it’s getting dark earlier and pumpkins have gathered in front of every grocery store in the foothills. We’re not quite there yet, but soon as next Thursday is the first day of autumn.

Breaking Weather News
~ Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

• Crescenta Valley foothills receive .08 inches of rain, the first of the season.

• Southern California daytime temperatures drop to the lowest in previous three months.

• Sierras are dusted with three inches of snow from an early winter-like storm.
And … it was still summer!

Last week we barely touched on the weather predictions for fall and winter of 2015-16. Our reference and authority were based on the weather prediction formula from the 225-year-old Farmer’s Almanac; since it claims an 80% accuracy rate – based primarily on observation of sun spot activity – it seemed a good and fun place to start. Now let’s look at what current technology and its interpretation has to offer for the upcoming fall and winter weather prediction.

El Niño or La Niña? Call it whichever or whatever you may, as long as it rains!

In the early morning hours on Tuesday, I was awakened by the sound of falling rain. Knowing there was a slight possibility, the rain gauge (outfitted with new batteries) stood waiting for these first drops. After five years of drought, optimism has become somewhat dulled. I was not even sure where I left my umbrella.

With similar sentiments, Bill Patzert, climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said, “El Niño was a dud for Southern California rainfall, so maybe a wannabe or puny La Niña could deliver a much needed wet winter. A sixth (consecutive) dry year would be punishing.”

Monthly NOAA releases a statement based on data gathered by the Climate Prediction Center/NCEP. Climatic trends and current weather, in addition to sea, atmospheric temperatures and winds, formulate the content of NOAA’s statement. As of Sept. 12, neither El Niño nor La Niña appears to be  a dominant factor in our fall and winter weather. El Niño is long gone and the at-first-projected La Niña has weakened. Average and normal conditions are therefore expected. That means 24 inches of rain for La Crescenta and vicinity. Yes!

Cool conditions will begin to fade as high pressure builds over the Great Basin. Saturday through Monday are forecast to be hot with temperatures climbing to the upper 90s. The strength of accompanying NE winds is uncertain. Next week a 180-degree “weather turn-about” makes landfall, as cooler and possible wet conditions are pushed south out of the Aleutian Low in Alaska. Autumn is marked by change and this one holds promise.

Sept. 13   – .08 inches, and counting…
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at