Weather in the Foothills

“Spring flew swiftly by and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness.”
~ Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist”   

The backdrop of our village – the San Gabriel Mountains – is green. The plentiful rainwater of winter and spring is evident. Within a two-week time period the last day of the 2016-17 rain season and the first day summer will come to pass. June seems a month of transition, be it a graduation or the weather.

The panoramic view of the foothills while driving north on the 2 (SR2) is breathtaking. Besides the view, it often reveals the current and upcoming weather conditions. Crystal clear days indicate Santa Ana winds, clouds – an impending or dissipating storm and fog – sea breezes blowing off the Pacific. Lush green chaparral and grasses give evidence of past weather – rain. Speaking of water …

Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to California’s historic five-year drought. As mentioned in past columns, 40% to 60% of Crescenta Valley’s water is pumped from deep underground aquifers. At present the water level is low. It will take several years of at least normal rainfall to completely replenish their water to pre-drought capacity. Until then, we must buy water from sources in northern California and those around the Colorado River. So, needless to say, in this part of the state we must remain diligent. Every drop counts.

Last week I promised Watering in the Foothills. The following are a few recommendations from the Crescenta Valley Water District. Included are a few of my own.

– Water between sunset and sunrise when temperatures and wind are lowest.

– Group plants with similar watering needs.

– Using mulch and compost help the soil absorb and store water.

– Routinely adjust and immediately fix broken sprinklers to avoid runoff; i.e., water waste.

– When hand watering, prevent water from going down a drain or into the gutter. Excess water needs to fill our aquifers, not the ocean.

Summer receives a warm welcome as a heat wave is expected to build through the week and persist into next week. Temperatures are likely to exceed 100 degrees. Thankfully, the overnight lows are expected to drop into the 60s, providing at least some relief. I wonder if, in the still of the night, coyotes use our sprinklers as their drinking fountains? If so, I want a picture!
Sue Kilpatrick is a
Crescenta Valley resident and
Official Skywarn Spotter for the
National Weather Service. Reach her at