Weather in the Foothills

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~ F. Scott Fitzgerald, American essayist, novelist,
screenwriter and short-story writer

Let’s just say you wake up tomorrow morning and it’s raining. Would you call it a “spring shower” or a “summer storm?” From what I surmise, you may call it anything you want … your choice.

I can relate to “life was beginning over again with the summer” (above). In the mind’s eye of a  La Crescenta kid, the year was divided into two, but unequal, parts: “the school year” and “summer vacation.” Back in the day, the school year started in September, after Labor Day, and ended mid-June.

When does summer actually begin? Well, that depends on whom you ask. Ask an astronomer and he’ll tell you it begins on or around June 21 each year. This year, it’s  on Saturday, June 21 at 3:34 p.m. For a brief moment, due to the earth’s tilt of 23.5 degrees, the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, making for the longest day of the year.

Meteorologists, on the other hand, define seasons based on climatic conditions and annual temperature cycles. Statistically, June, July and August are the hottest months. Thus being so, the meteorological summer begins June 1.

To confuse matters even more, in the U.S. there’s an unofficial start to summer –Memorial Day weekend. Prior to WWI, May 30 was set aside to honor fallen Civil War veterans. Now, on the last Monday of May, all fallen soldiers are remembered. It also became a time for an almost-summer get away. For some …it is the first day of summer!

To summarize the above, the longest day of the year is the first day of school.

A gradual cooling is expected over the weekend. By Tuesday, June Gloom will meet up with a chance of rain. How much is up in the air … for now.


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