We are now about dead center in spring. The wildflower display has been better than in the past two years, thanks mostly to the rainfall, which occurred at the right time. Spring is always a time of transition. The Sun is seasonally reaching higher into the sky, resulting in longer daylight hours. It will reach the summer solstice on June 21st, the first day of summer.


There is, however, always a "flywheel" effect to the seasons, and the seasonal position of the Sun doesn't by itself determine the weather. It takes time to build up to the heat of summer, and the cool of winter. Early spring (April) can have some hot weather, and then we seem to revert to winter again. The effect is felt less in May and June. Because of this so-called flywheel effect, July and August are usually our hottest months, even though June 21 is the first day of summer.


You've all heard the old adage, "fall is best of all." Fall is another transitional season, but a holdover from summer, and we generally have and "Indian Summer" sometime between September to November.


Those three months are usually the time of the so-called "Santa Ana's," named for the mountain range in Orange County that seems most susceptible to those conditions. In addition to temperature high and lows, we have high pressure "ridges" and low pressure "troughs," which affect the weather patterns.


Next month we'll explore those and the wind patterns and conclude this series.



Venus is conspicuously absent from the evening sky.  It is now a morning "star," rising higher into the pre-dawn sky and very visible.  Saturn is now our evening star, rising early in the east, and will reach opposition sometime in July or August.


The winter stars and constellations are fading into the sunset and replaced by the spring and early summer stars.  Conspicuous are the Big Dipper and its pointer stars:  Arcturus, in Bootes, the herdsman, and ending in the south at Spica, part of Virgo.  Rising earlier night by night is the bright star Vega, part of Lyra, the harp.  Vega and Arcturus are the fourth and fifth brightest stars in our sky.


Happy viewing.