By Sue KILPATRICK
“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get”
— Mark Twain
This time of year in the foothills we expect day after day temperatures reaching close to and often exceeding 100 degrees. Nights usually cool down to the upper 60s to low 70s, with few not dropping much below 80 degrees. These expectations are based on statistics collected over a long period of time, usually 30 years. Throughout the rest of the year other conditions, including rain total, temperature, humidity, sunshine, fog, frost and other measures of weather, are also collected. Put all these together for a particular region and you have its climate. Ours is characterized by mild wet winters and dry hot summers influenced by the cold ocean water and the latitude. It is considered a Mediterranean climate.
The key difference between climate and weather is time frame. Look out the door on a particular morning: do you need an umbrella or sunscreen? That would depend on the weather. If you are planning a vacation to The Great Barrier Reef next spring, do you pack light cotton clothing or woolen scarves? Better check out the climate in that part of the world. To summarize our current situation, for most of this summer the weather has been unusually cool for the normal climate of Crescenta Valley.
With all the controversy about climate change and global warming, I will remember what proper etiquette taught me – weather is always a safe subject to discuss in mixed company. So, keeping that in mind, this week the temperature reached the century mark! As we move into this weekend and the first of next week it is expected to cool down. Daytime highs should be close to 90 degrees with nights in the low 60s.
As summer days slowly come to an end, early harvests begin. Two-thousand years ago the Celtic festival of Lammas celebrated this event. The Anglo-Saxon meaning of Lammas was “loaf-mass.” After the first grains of the harvest were gathered they were ground and made into loafs of bread and offered at a special mass. Blessings were made to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Sue Kilpatrick is a longtime CV resident and amateur weather watcher. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.