Weather in the Foothills

“Thorns may hurt you … the sunlight turn to fog; but you’re never friendless ever, if you have a dog.”

       ~ Douglas Mallock 1877-1936- poet, short story writer &
editor of trade paper “American Lumberman”

In a few days, on Sunday, June 21, the summer solstice arrives – the first day of summer. Based on hours of sunlight received, it is the longest day of the year. From this day forward the days will grow shorter until the winter solstice in December.

One would assume the day with the most sunlight would be the warmest. Not so! Due to seasonal lag the highest temperatures come in July, August and September. The main reason for seasonal lag is that the majority of Earth is covered in water (about 71%), which has a much higher heat capacity than land.

So, what is heat capacity? Basically, it is the amount of heat that must be added to or removed from something to change its temperature. Because water has a relatively high heat capacity, it requires much more heat and takes a longer time than land to warm up. So even though the greatest amount of solar energy occurs on the summer solstice, the substantial water bodies on the earth slow the heating process, which delays the hottest temperatures about a month or two.

It’s just getting warmed up and ready to go. So, while we wait, we can prepare.

In order to be fun, summer must be safe for all the family members. In past years, swim lessons for our boys was a priority. According to the CDC, swimming pool drowning is the number one cause of death in children between 1 and 4 years of age. It happens quickly, without warning; a person is physically unable to call for help. Living in California, where many families, friends and neighbors have pools, pool safety is crucial. Like it or not, kids need to learn to swim. Fun flotation devices don’t count!

Water safety should be extended to our furry family members as well. As many know, we have a golden retriever – Brighton. The breed usually takes to water like a duck. Apparently, Brighton wasn’t informed! She’s starting swimming lessons (with a certified trainer) on Saturday. Finding the stairs is the first step. Fun?

A warming trend is expected over the weekend into early next week. Fire-up the grill and grab your swimsuits because the lazy crazy days of summer are here!

“Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer!” from “Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” by Nat King Cole.


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