Weather in the Foothills

“A low line of shore was visible at first on the right between the movement of the waves and fog, but when we came further it was lost sight of, and nothing could be seen but the mist curling in the rigging, and a small circle of foam.”
~ John Millington Synge, 1871-1909, Irish author, playwright and poet

In the early morning hours – at 3:07 a.m. – one season will begin as another ends; today is the first day of summer. The weather prediction fully supports the change as clear skies and above average temperatures are expected. Out over the eastern Pacific Ocean a high-pressure system continues to build to finish off the week on the warm side. Above normal temperatures with fair skies are forecast for the valley and foothill areas; the hottest days were expected yesterday, today and tomorrow. Beyond those, a slight cooling trend is moving in for the weekend. Typical June weather will persist with night through morning low clouds and fog.

Fog … What is fog anyway? It takes on a weather-type persona of innocence. It softly swirls in and around, gently obscuring the sharp lines of city buildings and the rugged forms of nature. But there is no innocence when ships of long ago would crash upon the rocks. Nowadays, a beach day is ruined when the bright summer sun is overtaken by fog. As you don a warm sweatshirt, and the Sea & Ski is forgotten, these timeless words are heard: “Mom, when will the sun come out?” The answer: “We have to wait for the fog to burn off. Now go build a sandcastle, honey.”

The fog will “burn off” is a much used and inaccurate saying. The American Meteorological Service defines fog as “water droplets suspended in the atmosphere in the vicinity the earth’s surface that affect visibility.” Typically, fog will come ashore during the night as the air temperature drops. At sunrise, the air and ground begin to warm. With these increases, the ability to hold moisture lessens. The fog droplets gradually evaporate or dissipate. In science lingo, “the air temperature rises above the dew point temperature.” No fire or burning involved!

The current weather is “textbook June” with an alternating pattern of one day being hot and clear and the next one cool and foggy. The finest beach days come in the fall. Perhaps a little coordination between GUSD and the weather is needed!

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