Weather in the Foothills

“It was luxuries like air conditioning that brought down the Roman Empire. With air conditioning their windows were shut, they couldn’t hear the barbarians coming.”~ Garrison Keillor, American writer and broadcaster

It was hot! Last Friday – July 6 – temperatures across the Crescenta Valley soared to 117 degrees. This day became “one for the books” as it was the highest recorded temperature for our area. My shock and disbelief led me to verify this with local historian Mike Lawler and meteorologist Bob Greg. Below is based on data from my La Crosse personal weather station and other ones nearby.

July 6, 2018 – 3:36 p.m. (elevation 1,720 ft.)
High Low Average
Temperature 117.1 °F 74.5 °F 95.8 °F
Humidity 26% 8% 18%
Precipitation 0 in — —

The day became history and we managed to persevere. Some of us lost power, fires raged in nearby areas and air conditioners ceased to function. Many escaped to malls, headed to the not-too-cool beach or jumped into the closest pool. Our pool water was 90 degrees, but relative to the air temperature it felt cool!

Back in the day … way, way back to 500 B.C., those living in a similar climate to ours had an excellent way to stay cool. In Rome, the bathhouse was central to the community. People gathered there to discuss politics, play sports and, of course, bathe. But bathhouses were also sought to escape the sweltering Mediterranean sun; inside could be found a large pool or frigidarium. Filled with imported snow and ice from the Alps, the frigidarium was nice and chilly, making it a highly desirable summertime destination for well-to-do Romans. So, when in Rome…

What about the rest of the summer? For now, expect cooler temperatures along the coast and possible thunderstorms with highs in the 90s and possibly beyond. Anyone know the name of a good local frigidarium contractor?

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