Weather in the Foothills

“The breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.”

~ Kahlil Gibran, “The Prophet”

Our yard has been shouting, “Water, water!” After six months without much more than a drop the rainy season has arrived! Animals (including the human kind) and plants rejoice in its return. The rain gauge stands ready to receive; so far there’s been just a couple of brief showers and a rumble of thunder. Good start … and may it continue on into the season.

There are several important conditions of the atmosphere, or weather elements. They include wind, temperature, pressure, humidity, clouds and precipitation. Interestingly, wind is not only a weather element or condition. A wind force can also be the driving force that helps to create certain weather conditions. Read on …

Wind, with a tremendous amount of help from the sun, helps evaporate seawater.

The salt component remains in the ocean. The water, in vapor form, gets sent up into the atmosphere where it cools and becomes clouds. As enough moisture collects, it eventually becomes too heavy for wind and jet streams to hold it up and it falls back to the ground. If the wind is strong enough, such as during a strong thunderstorm, the rain may be sent back up into the atmosphere before reaching the ground and fall back down as hail.

Essentially, wind is one of the key factors of all of earth’s weather. Stagnant air could potentially become a precursor to a drought and strong winds could herald a strong storm.

So is wind good or bad? On one hand, it’s the force behind devastating wildland fires. On the other hand, it is the force that drives storms carrying life-essential water. In recent years, wind has taken another job as well. Stay tuned until the week after Thanksgiving.

From Tuesday to today, thermometer readings fell by almost 40 degrees. The weekend weather will, at last, be what is expected of fall – partly cloudy skies and temperatures close to 70 degrees. Rain predicted for Wednesday.

It’s time to check your umbrella for leaks!


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