Weather in the Foothills

“How languid ’neath the sun’s fierce ray…
 On this hot, sultry, summer day.”
–  Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon, 19th Century Canadian poet
NEW Weather in Foothills ART WEB

CV Fireworks Association outdid themselves this year. Perhaps my imagination … did I see more colors and 3D styles added? The evening cooled down, but La Crescenta Starbucks graciously provided free hot coffee. Our family gathered with folding chairs, blankets, dessert and dog (Abby). Once settled, I experienced the best “birthday present” our country could receive. I’m certain our Founding Fathers were smiling down from above.

As twilight came and the full moon rose, another family arrived to watch the show. We made room and exchanged smiles, but Abby – being a golden retriever –  had to trot over and greet them like long lost friends. Well, that can be a little embarrassing at times…not everyone likes dogs. Thank goodness, their little girl’s face lit up as she saw a big dog approaching.

I intercepted as they met nose to nose.

“Would you like to pet our dog?” I asked. The little girl shyly nodded, and said, “Yes.”

“Okay, ask your mommy and daddy.”

They answered her in Korean, “Ney (yes),” and turned to me, “Thank you very much and happy 4th of July.”

“You are very welcome and happy 4th of July to you” … and the fireworks began. All was good in America.

Nothing can outshine that moment as one little girl, a mom and a gold dog came together one special evening in July.

Now back to the weather.

Last weekend the temperatures began to rise, reaching 100 by mid-week. It would seem the first day of summer – June 20 – should be the hottest with the sun  almost directly overhead and the hours of sunlight at  maximum. But, no – those  temperatures will not be the season’s hottest.

This not-so-mysterious happening, in scientific terms, is called “seasonal lag.” Basically, it just takes a while for the earth to heat up. Think about how long it takes to warm up a cold house on a winter day. Same idea, though on a much grander scale. So the heat peaks in mid- July and continues through September or often October.

Another outcome of the land absorbing the solar heat is the afternoon buildup of cumulus or thunderheads over the mountains. Rising air off the warm desert floor creates an area low pressure, pulling moist subtropical air out of the Gulf of California and off the Pacific Ocean. This occurrence is called “monsoonal flow.” Thunderstorms and showers may result. (Yes!) Summertime in the foothills is not complete without these storms. They usually occur toward evening or at night and can be quite spectacular. Nature’s “no cost” aerial display!

The CV Weekly arrives to very uncomfortable weather conditions – hot and humid with possible overcast and thundershowers in the mountains. A cooling trend is predicted continuing  into next week.

Don’t like the heat?  Just wait for “best part of summer” … the evenings.

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