A slow but steady cooling trend will keep us dry but breezy for the rest of the week. Occasional cloudiness will come and go, but for the most part we will be looking at mostly sunny skies, with Wednesday high temperatures topping out in the upper 80s, falling 2-3 degrees every day until the weekend where we will bottom out near 80 degrees. Breezy afternoons will keep us in a Fire Weather Watch through most of the rest of the week.
Yesterday, a reader described seeing a phenomenon on Mt. Whitney that was most likely St. Elmo’s Fire (blue crackling sparks dancing over his wool cap and climbing axe.) St. Elmo’s is a discharge of luminous plasma which occurs in a strong electrical field that can occur around thunderstorms. It usually emanates from pointed metal objects (like an ice axe). Is it dangerous? Usually not in and of itself. But it can be a sign that dangerous lightning could be very close behind. It certainly occurs in a highly charged environment, and I think it prudent to get off the mountain if observed. I think I’d leave under the same circumstances.