Weather in the Foothills

“There it is, fog, atmosphere moisture still uncertain in destination, not quite weather and not altogether mood, yet partaking in both.”   

~ Hal Borland, American author, journalist and naturalist

Weather-wise, we are stuck in a “winter dry spell.” This term, coined by some meteorologist, refers to a time period lasting about 20 days in January when the chance for rain falls right off the map. The water-rich storms being transported along by the jet stream do not come far enough south to impact the weather in Southern California. A strong high-pressure system is the culprit, holding back all rain potential. The last day it rained was Christmas! Hmmm …

It should be raining. Although a lull occurs at this time, January, February into March are when we normally get half of our annual precipitation. Thus far, 2020 is off to a dry beginning and those who are in the know of upcoming rain chances see little change. Locally our rainfall total stands at close to eight inches; 23-24 inches is our norm. Here’s hoping for that ‘March miracle,” a period of frequent storms.

Taking advantage of the dry spell, last weekend we headed up the coast to Santa Barbara. Even though the traffic was light, it was close to a five-hour journey. Traveling light (without kids) we stop whenever, wherever and for whatever we please. In a race with the sun, we made it just before sunset. Most importantly, pup Brighton had time for a run along the beach and a game of chase with the local seagulls. Within minutes, a heavy fog rolled in.

Influenced by strong offshore winds, Saturday’s temperature will reach into the 80s – 10-12 degrees above normal. The very next day – Sunday – a big cool down is in the forecast due to a shift in wind direction from offshore to onshore and a quick-moving cold front coming down from the north. The rapid change includes a slight chance for rain on Sunday night.

Ground Hog’s Day is Feb. 2 and the weather is a bit wily; will the little guy (Punxsutawney Phil) see his shadow? He’s been left out in the cold.


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