Weather in the Foothills

Posted by on May 12th, 2011 and filed under Community 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 fog comes on little cat feet.
It sits looking over harbor and city
On silent haunches and then moves on.” ~ Carl Sandburg


Only a poet would attempt to compare fog to a cat. But, as I gave the quotation more thought, the similarities were there. Cats are quiet, often times drifting in and out at night. You might wake to find them at your door or see one lingering at a distance. Once the sun breaks through, they find a warm spot to nap and settle down for the remainder of the day.
So it is with our weather in May, June and even into July. Often we hear meteorologists forecast early morning fog with afternoon clearing at this time of year. This past week has been a combination of this and also real rain, bringing this season’s rain total to slightly over 34 inches.
As spring moves toward summer rain showers are left behind. But our green mountainsides remain.
Late spring and early summer weather is referred to by locals as May Grey/June Gloom. During this period coastal clouds may remain all day or break up and allow some afternoon sunshine. Sunseekers and tourists know to avoid the beaches at this time of year.
This weather condition is caused by the cold California current along our coastline. An upwelling of its waters produces a moist marine layer that can be drawn inland by warm air rising in the east. A layer of marine stratus fog is formed.
I remember many summer school sessions when I would walk to Monte Vista Elementary School on cold, foggy and wet mornings. After the art, enriched literature and drama classes GUSD offered back in the “olden days” the sun would break through the gloom, transforming the weather to that of a summer-day afternoon. The rest of the day was spent in the pool. We haven’t quite made it to that point yet, but soon.
This week and into next, the forecast is rather variable, but not extreme. As a brief and weak high pressure system will move into our area Friday, temperatures could reach 80 as the fog remains on the coast. Then by Saturday and the remainder of the weekend a low pressure air mass from the Gulf of Alaska will move south bringing cool, wet and unsettled weather. So far the National Weather Service is uncertain of its effects below Point Conception, however many of their scientists feel it will be cold enough to bring showers into the Crescenta Valley. If this occurs most likely it will be Saturday night and Sunday.
Daytime highs will be in the 60s and nighttime lows in the 50s. Next week’s extended forecast shows a continuation of the same pattern minus the precipitation, add more fog. Seems a rather classic condition for this time of year – a weak winter-type storm coming from Alaska blending with the May Grey/June Gloom of late spring and early summer.
I won’t worry about an umbrella, just enjoy the last “spring showers!”

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

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