Weather in the Foothills


Water. Its presence and ability to create landforms were experienced with last weekend’s trip to Yosemite.

We hoped to enjoy one last snow storm of this season but the valley and higher elevations received only a light dusting of snowflakes during our visit. The many waterfalls and the Merced river gushing over and through the glacier-carved creation of Yosemite marked the beginning of the spring melt. So far the Sierras have accumulated a snowpack exceeding 100%. So how does the weather in northern California relate to life in Crescenta Valley?

Southern California has a Mediterranean type climate – warm, semi-arid with typically low rainfall totals. The weather is agreeable and attracts a larger population. Simply said: we have the people, they have the water. Although this season our area has received 10 inches above the average rain totals, we still depend on imported water from other sources. Water and where it comes from is intriguing. Time for some research and investigation.

When you turn on your faucet, where is the source of the water that comes out? My answer to this question came from the general manager of the Foothill Municipal Water District (FMWD) Nina Jazmadarian. Besides being friendly and helpful, she was very informative. The following is a brief summary of the facts I received:

Crescenta Valley Water District serves the unincorporated parts of Crescenta Valley. The Foothill Municipal Water District acts as a water wholesaler to CVWD. Historically ground water was the primary supply for this area. After WWII real estate development skyrocketed. With this came the demand for more water. In 1951 concerned citizens in Altadena, La Cañada and La Crescenta formed the FMWD to secure additional water for the growing population. In doing so, water was now imported from the Colorado River and Northern California delivered by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. You may think this seems very complicated and you are correct! It becomes even more so with an ever changing population, climate changes, variability of weather year to year and lack of conservation. This year the news is good. With reservoirs at above-normal levels and a deep snow-pack, Governor Brown has announced an end to California’s drought. Locally, the CVWD has lifted water restrictions except for daytime outdoor watering and washing down driveways. So, grab your broom, put away the umbrella (for now) and enjoy the upcoming days!

Wind out of the northwest will push the cloudy marine influence out of the Crescenta Valley and temperatures should warm into the low 80s for the weekend. The first of the week will cool into the 70s during the day and around 50 at night. A few weather people are calling for a chance of drizzle. Remember, as you sigh, it is that very water that allows us the freedom of picking up the hose!

Sue Kilpatrick is a longtime

Crescenta Valley resident and amateur weather watcher. Reach her at