“There are dark shadows on the earth,
but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”
~ Charles Dickens
All of a sudden it seems to be getting darker at a much faster pace! As a person mesmerized by summer’s extended-light evenings, I am not a big fan of nature’s implementation of the sun’s dimmer switch. As a dog, Abby is none too pleased with her shortened dog walks, either. Even by noon, shadows now fall over our once sun-drenched pool. Shadows … an interesting phenomenon if you really think about them.
The lunar eclipse triggered this dark subject as the Earth’s shadow brushed across the moon’s face. Then came the dark storm clouds, casting more shadows. Shadows … they are everywhere … everyday! Like you and me, the Earth casts its shadow. Take a look …
• Every clear evening in the eastern sky you can see the Earth’s shadow. At the same rate the sun sets in the west, a deep blue-grey band ascends in the eastern sky. Its hue is darker than the surrounding blue of twilight. Keep in mind the size and shape of the Earth – big and round. If you scan the horizon’s entire length, here lies a gently curved shadow.
• Night on Earth is nothing other than a shadow. When you are out at night, you’re standing within the shadow of the Earth.
• As we know from recent experience, a lunar eclipse is the Earth’s shadow upon the moon.
Interestingly, during the summer we seek refuge in an area blocking out the sun or “in the shade.” But during the winter that same area is considered “in a shadow” or devoid of light and is cold; it has negative implications.
So are we “in the shade” or “in the dark” in the upcoming days? The answer depends on your point of view and/or the current state of the weather. I can offer a scientific answer to the latter. By the week’s end, offshore winds will begin blowing through the canyons, pushing temperatures upwards; come Saturday triple digit temperatures will be scattered across the L.A. County interior valleys. With temperatures over 100, most would prefer a place in the shade.
Once again, a cooling trend returns by Monday or Tuesday continuing into next week. Not only will the temperatures drop, but rain is also in the forecast. Remarkably the same low pressure system that gave us rain last Sunday is circling back around from New Mexico and northern Mexico – think of a boomerang – and hitting us again. Thus far, the rain’s timing stands at Tuesday-Wednesday. Without doubt the sky will hold shadow-producing clouds. As for the actual amount of rain contained within these, the answer remains (as usual) “up in the clouds!”
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.