Weather in the Foothills

“Through the range of the months of the year, every month knows the particular season it belongs to and behaves accordingly. Every month but one. March. March is most unbalanced … March might decide she belongs to the spring season, warm and fragrant, only to change her mind the very next day, turning into winter sending chilly winds …”

~ Elif Shafak, British writer, storyteller, essayist,
academic, public speaker, and women’s rights activist

Early Monday morning, just after midnight, a blast of wind hit the house with tornado-like force. Visions came to mind of houses being lifted skyward, cows being tossed about, Aunty Em floating by in her rocking chair and a witch riding a broom and bicycle eastward across the darkened sky. Of side interest, March is the peak time for tornadoes in the U.S. As alluded to above, the weather is difficult to call as one season transitions to the next.

My anemometer is out of commission and I was unable to get a good wind velocity reading. But, while looking up data, I came upon some interesting information about our local Mt. Lukens. It’s not too difficult to locate. Within the range on the northern side of our valley stands a peak with many towers. Wanting to know more, I called the guys in Oxnard at the NWS.

Eric Boldt, warning coordination meteorologist for the NWS in Oxnard, shared, “The background story about the NOAA Weather Radio antenna on Mt. Lukens is that it was originally installed on Mt. Wilson back in the late 1970s. The tower was moved to Mt. Lukens around 2001.”

It seems the reasons are (1) to facilitate repairs and maintenance often required and (2) without the cost of leasing space on the mountain for radio transmitter equipment and the antennas. The meteorologists generate the broadcast content in Oxnard and then send it to a tower atop Mt. Lukens via a phone line connection. Next week … how the information gets off the mountain. Hint: It’s not by Pony Express!

Warm temperatures are forecast through tomorrow Friday. Come Saturday, cloudy skies are expected and might be hanging around until next Wednesday with an increasing chance of rain predicted. At slightly under eight inches so far this season, we need a March miracle – rain!

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