Weather in the Foothills

“But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.” The Beatles, “I’ll Follow The Sun,” 1964

Summer is making its annual entrance; the skies are clear with warm winds a blowing. Once it settles in, it’s here until October. Mild summer evenings bring many of us outdoors – maybe into the local mountains. You are not alone, though; you are being watched!

What in the world? Is it some kind of racoon, a lemur or a species of marsupial from down under? Apparently these critters live in our surrounding mountains. Even though this eye-catching omnivore sports a few vaguely feline characteristics, such as pointy ears, a sleek body and a fluffy tail, the ringtail is really a member of the raccoon family. They remain unnoticed until nightfall

Its cat-like appearance and famed mouse-hunting skills have earned it several common names including ringtail cat, civet cat, and miner’s cat (it reportedly kept gold miners’ quarters vermin-free). This animal of which we speak is the ringtail cat. It has one of the cutest faces in the animal world.

Ringtail cats often inhabit ecosystems such as oak forests, chaparral, deserts and rocky canyons. Because these ecosystems are normally hot arid areas with little available water during most seasons, ringtail cats are specially adapted to overcome these challenges. Ringtails are nocturnal so that they are most active when the air is cooler and they rest in their dens during the heat of the day. Ringtails do not construct their own dens because they constantly move every two to three days to avoid predators. Rather, they attempt to find shelter in rock crevices, hollow trees, logs or beneath dense shrubs. In order to overcome water stress, ringtails are incredibly water efficient and produce very little liquid waste.

Cooler than normal temperatures are expected through Thursday. There will be areas of gusty northerly winds and sundowner winds through Friday morning. Temperatures will begin to warm as high pressure aloft builds in for later in the week. A significant warm up is on tap for the weekend, then a cooling trend is expected for early next week. The final days (when it may rain) are slipping into summer, a time when the weather forecast holds barely a drop.

But “Here comes the sun … and it’s all right. Sun, sun, sun – here it comes.”
The Beatles

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