Weather in the Foothills

“I spent years traveling around the world searching for the best place to live. I looked for beauty and climate advantages in every country on the globe. And when I returned I found it right here where I had started from – in the Crescenta-Cañada Valley.” ~ Seymour Thomas, local artist, 1890s

 NEW Weather in Foothills ART WEB

Always be prepared! Good words that immediately came to mind when my computer’s hard drive crashed within 20 words of hitting “send” for this week’s Weather in the Foothills. My knowledge in the field of meteorology far outweighs that of computer technology. A kindergartener would likely have my current computer problem solved by the time I offered them a box of crayons and a cookie.

Any Boy Scout, columnist and person who encounters weather on a daily basis needs to “always be prepared.” As the calendar page flipped to September and the weather cooled considerably over the past few days, I have begun to look ahead to fall and even winter. At this moment our backyard is torn up as we are working on preparing the perfect drought-tolerant landscape … something like the terrain along the Deukmejian Wilderness hiking trail; a dry streambed, naturally strewn rocks and boulders with intermingling native vegetation. Hopefully our replication will be as beautiful!

I do realize, as we toiled beneath the summer sun in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, within a short time the weather may change drastically. Our drought-tolerant yards may become flood plains. We ask, “Was it really necessary to go crazy changing our landscapes?” My answer to that question would be, “Absolutely!”   Here’s my logic in no certain order:

As mentioned in previous columns, a strong rain-producing El Niño is scientifically difficult to predict; i.e. there are no guarantees.

Even in the event of an above-average rain total for the 2015-16 season, it will take several years to replenish the reservoirs and snow packs (our water sources).

We live in a semi-arid Mediterranean climate.

Over the years water-needy non-native plants have taken over our manmade landscapes.

As a thirsty population continues to grow in Southern California, so will our need for water.

Lastly, our large population boom around 1900 was during an unusually wet period.

Soon our dry streambed may be flowing, but we will be prepared either way!

Our current refreshingly cool days will begin to warm this weekend. Next week warming continues as temperatures edge toward 90 degrees. Nights will be cool …

Partake in the Foothill’s beauty and climate this Labor Day weekend!

Sue Kilpatrick is a

Crescenta Valley resident and

Official Skywarn Spotter for the

National Weather Service. Reach her at