Weather in the Foothills

Button up your overcoat, When the wind is free
Take good care of yourself, You belong to me…
Wear your flannel underwear, When you climb a tree,
Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me!”
“Button up Your Overcoat,” Lyrics by
Buddy G. DeSylva & Lew Brown / Music: by Ray Henderson

“You don’t want to get sick, do you?” “No one is going anywhere without a jacket!” and “Don’t go out with that wet hair!”
While growing up, most of us heard these lovingly intended words. Coming from a parent or other concerned adult they were based on the assumption exposure to cold weather or a sudden chill would land us in bed with a bad cold or worse! Many of us still consider these words to be carved into stone.
In truth, it is bacteria and viruses, not the weather, which cause infections such as the common cold and flu. If so, why do so many people seem to get sick in the cold, wet months of fall and winter?
There is no doubt that respiratory infections such as colds and the flu occur more often during the fall and winter months. The U.S. government’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases proposes that the reason for this may have to do with the opening of schools and people staying a little too cozy indoors, close to others. Both of these factors increase the opportunity for viruses and bacteria to spread among people.
There is no evidence that humans can get a cold or other infection from exposure to cold weather or from getting chilled or overheated. When scientists placed cold viruses directly into the noses of study participants before either exposing them to cold temperatures or not, they failed to find any connection between exposure to cold and susceptibility to infection with common cold viruses.
While the weather is not directly responsible for making people sick, the viruses that cause colds may spread more easily in lower temperatures. Long exposure times to cold and dry air may adversely impact the body’s immune system.
At this time, according to the Centers for Disease Control, we do not know whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when the weather warms up.
Satellite imagery shows high pressure over the U.S. Southwest region. Beginning yesterday, it kicked off a warming trend. Some meteorologists consider it to be the season’s first heat wave as temperatures will warm substantially over the coming days, approaching near record levels today, Thursday, and tomorrow, Friday. Temperatures around 90 degrees are predicted possibility into next week. It’s only April!

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