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Weather in the foothills

Posted by on Sep 18th, 2010 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

By Sue KILPATRICK
“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.””
— Jacques Yves Cousteau
The Pacific Ocean, blue whales and hurricanes – there is a connection here. Along our coast the cold California current flows. Sounds refreshing after our Labor Day weekend heat wave when temperatures reached 107 degrees! By the first of the week the weather rapidly cooled, with daytime highs around 70 degrees and lows in the 50s. Expect drizzle in the mornings, as the weekend approaches. Here on the West Coast, this time of year the weather is uneventful, especially compared to the predicted hurricane season along the Atlantic Coast.
Something unusual is occurring off our coastline. Looking out over the waters, 15 foot water spouts created by blue whales lolling in the distant waves can be spotted. These sea mammals are the largest creature on earth – up to 150 tons! It is not uncommon for these whales to pass through on their migratory route, but they are showing up in extremely large numbers. They also linger and seem to enjoy dining on tiny shrimp-like krill, a mainstay of their diet. Scientists feel this is due to the cooler than normal ocean temperature making their food source more abundant and bringing it in closer to the coastline. This may be spectacular to observe, but is very dangerous for the whales. The National Weather Service has set up communications to protect the whales as they pass through one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. To think this is all caused by a few degrees of cooling … amazing.
Back to hurricanes now … but wait a minute – we don’t have hurricanes here! Why? Hurricanes gather their heat and energy by forming over a warm ocean – 79-plus degrees (the Atlantic). The Pacific Ocean is a chilly 64 degrees. Now that we know what not to expect – a hurricane – let’s move on to our weather. This weekend, if all goes as predicted, should be perfect. Both days will be in the low 80s and the nights in the upper 50s. The new week will bring slightly warmer days and cool nights. Enjoy the last days of summer…
Sue Kilpatrick is a longtime CV resident and amateur weather watcher. Reach her at suelkilpatrick@gmail.com.

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