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Weather in the Foothills

Posted by on Dec 15th, 2011 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

“… The winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms, their energy. And cares will drop off like Autumn leaves…” ~ John Muir

I’m aware the quotations of this week and last are both John Muir’s. After searching, I found nothing that came close to describing our weather. His basic understanding of nature, interwoven with passion, is a gift put into words. The winds blew and the rain fell and the trees still continue to drop their last leaves of autumn. In the midst of all this, I received a simple request from one of our readers asking me to include rain totals in Weather in the Foothills. Great idea!

Now you will see the seasonal and monthly totals on the last Thursday of each month. In addition, I will always include significant data from our most recent storms, starting this week, as we received .83 inches of rain and snow in our local mountains.

My own interest in the weather and keeping track of local rainfall totals is based on pure fascination and fun. In the past, the gathering and measuring of rainwater was most likely for agricultural purposes. Crops were planted according to the amount of rainfall as more seeds were sown when the soil’s moisture content could nurture them to harvest. However finding actual historical accounts of quantitative measurements has proven difficult. Some say the Mayans most likely kept records and others believe early Greek scientists certainly logged rainfall. Actual reference was found in writings from 4th Century BC India where bowls were set up next to the grain storehouses to catch the rainwater.

Another reference from the Mishnah, a book with records of Jewish life (including farming) in 2nd Century BC Palestine, includes a record of a 540 mm annual rainfall.

In China around 1247 AD, bamboo snow gauges were placed in mountain passes during the winter, not only for assisting farmers but also to help predict the much-dreaded floods come spring.

King Sejong of Korea, who lived from 1397 to 1450, is also given credit by some historians for the earliest actual rain gauge. His was a standardized container attached to a pillar. These containers were distributed to all the rural farm villages to help determine their potential annual harvest based on rainfall. This information was then used to determine how much the farmer should be taxed. More rain … higher taxes! Yikes … let’s not go there!

Winter begins next week on Dec. 22. Crescenta Valley received a season preview with snow atop Mt. Luken’s. Our upcoming weather will remain cooler than average, but there is no gift in route of a “white Christmas.” Keep dreaming…

The CV Weekly comes with a few passing clouds on Thursday. A rapid change is expected as cold Santa Ana’s blow in, continuing on and off into next week. Mostly clear days lead up to Christmas Day with highs around 60 and lows in the upper 30s.  No rain is in the forecast.

All systems go for take off from the North Pole!

Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at

Categories: News

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