Weather in the Foothills

“Oh! The snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below.
…The town is alive and its heart aglow
To welcome the coming of the beautiful snow.”
J.W. Watson   (1849-72 ) American poet    

The snow began to fall in downtown Montrose as this year’s Thanksgiving Day  became a memory. With leftovers packed away, time to go out and play. No Black Friday hordes of consumerism in our town. Thank goodness … only a White Friday. Shopping secondary to having a “good time” … what a concept. Although maybe a little early for Christmas, no bah humbug here, only a grateful “thank you” to the masterminds of a brilliant event. Give me an early snow in Montrose any time.

Yes, there was a time. During the winter of 1961-62, a snowstorm hit La Crescenta blanketing the foothills. The storm began the early morning of Jan. 21 and continued falling lightly throughout the day. By 3 p.m. it began to taper off and melt. Not for long though as an even stronger system moved in. It snowed throughout the night. By morning of Jan. 22, from La Crescenta to the top of Mt. Lukens there was an accumulation of over a foot of snow. A few inches even fell below Montrose Avenue. For this Southern California girl, the view out the living room picture window was nothing short of a miracle.

Snow day! I was only 6 years old and in kindergarten, but the memories are as clear as if it were yesterday.

“Susie! Wake up! Look out the window.” And so this historic day (for me at least) began. Somewhere those black and white Kodak pictures exist to support the events in our snow covered neighborhood. My delight was not exactly shared, as my father shoveled our long driveway in order to get the Thunderbird out. No school for my sisters and me, but he had to “get to work.”

While the adults worked, the children did play. Out came mittens (or even socks!), galoshes and warm jackets. The snowman population soared. Wooden sleds were pulled from the depths of garages and bygone days. Ramsdell Avenue, normally a main north-south La Crescenta thoroughfare, became a ski run as high school kids “hit the slopes.” Temperatures were a frosty 40 degrees.

By the next day, warm Santa Ana winds arrived. So our story ends, but as Frosty The Snowman once said, “I’ll be back again some day…”

As you read this, rain should be falling. A low pressure system out of the Gulf of Alaska put chances for measurable rain in the forecast through the weekend. I’m thinking at least two inches. Gusty SW winds, temperatures in the low 60s during the days and around 50 at night will accompany. Sunday night, according to the NWS,  brings the most potent of these storms. A high pressure then moves in, warmer and drier conditions return.

Montrose Christmas Parade Weather: Partly cloudy, 30% chance of rain, around 50 degrees.*

* No snow (levels above
7,000 ft.). Next year …?

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