Weather in the Foothills

“Great cataclysmic things can go by and neither the orchestra nor the conductor are under the delusion that whether they make this or that gesture is going to be the deciding factor in how it comes out.”~ James Levine, Metropolitan Opera conductor, Boston Symphony music director

NEW Weather in Foothills ART WEB
Enjoy the respite from the heat for a few more days. Last week was brutal as record-breaking temperatures hit our area. At one point my thermometer read 110 degrees! A true and funny side note – Office Depot’s sign read, “—ice Depot”!

Ordinarily, a cool ocean breeze brings overnight cooling but after midnight temps remained in the 80s. May have been uncomfortable sleeping weather, but for viewing the meteor showers it was stellar.

Currently there is “an elephant in the (weather) room.” Besides excitement and anticipation of such an unusual event, meteorologists are feeling a bit nervous and pushed against the wall. Without control over the eventual outcome, they are still being asked for definitive answers. Tough place to be in…

The elephant I speak of is El Niño in case you hadn’t guessed. On a certain late afternoon talk show recently, the two clowning hosts were having fun at the expense of Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Discrediting his ability to predict the upcoming El Niño, they alluded that Patzert probably doesn’t even know what he is talking about. In his defense, trying to make sense of the scientific data and probable weather scenarios is mind-boggling. My attempt led to an analogy.

A favorite place to be during the summer is the Hollywood Bowl. In my estimation, a summer is not quite complete without an evening at “the Bowl.” Here lies my El Niño predicting analogy. A perfect performance depends on a multitude of components. The failure of just one of these can bring the show to a screeching halt. Now imagine El Niño as though it were a symphony orchestra. A myriad of components must come together for an orchestra to perform well, so too there must be an exact combination of conditions for rain-packed El Niño to develop. So stands the conductor or scientist, “center stage” waiting for the magic moment of “show time.”

Savor summer’s rare cooler days. By Sunday and through Tuesday, the heat is expected to return once again, although with temperatures below those of last week’s heat wave. There is a possibility of a monsoonal flow moving in by Monday. But, as usual with weather, the eventual outcome remains up in the air.

Let the music – and the rain – begin!


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