Whither art thou, summer?
July off to chilly start; warming trend on way
CAPITAL REGION Get out the sweat shirt and forget the shorts.
The low temperature this morning is expected to be near the record low temperature for the day: 49 degrees set in 1940.
Lower than normal temperatures have dominated the first 13 days of July, keeping swimmers out of area pools and forcing people to wear sweat shirts or jackets in the early morning and evening hours.
Ingrid Amberger, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albany, said the jet stream of cool air coming out of the north has remained farther south than it usually is in July.
“It hasn’t retreated north,” Amberger said. “It usually goes up into Canada.”
The first 12 days of July were, on average, nearly 5 degrees cooler than normal, Amberger said.
The normal high temperature for July is in the low 80s, and the average low is about 60. For the first part of the month the average high temperature has been 75.5 degrees and the average low 56.2.
The low temperature Monday morning was 51 degrees at Albany International Airport, where the weather service gets its readings. The high in the afternoon was 74.
But a warming trend is on the way, with high temperatures in the low 80s by Wednesday, the weather service said.
Michael Greenslade, manager of the Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, said activity at the park’s two swimming pools, the Victoria and Peerless pools, has been slower than usual for this time of year.
But he said the Peerless Pool continues to have decent crowds even on cooler days, because local day camps have bus trips planned to that pool most days.
On Sunday, with lots of afternoon sunshine and a rock concert later in the day, the Victoria Pool in the Spa State Park was at capacity, said Allan Polacsek, a park employee.
The capacity for the Victoria Pool is 344 swimmers, while the capacity for the larger Peerless Pool is more than twice that number. The Peerless Pool includes an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a sliding pool and a wading pool for children.
Park officials said the thin crowds at the park’s pools have been noticed on weekdays during this cold spell.
But whether the pools are just about empty or filled to capacity, the park still must staff the pools with lifeguards.
“They are scheduled, rain or shine,” Polacsek said.
He said a larger number of people applied to be lifeguards this summer, possibly because of the weak job market. Most years, park officials struggle to sign up the necessary number of lifeguards to staff their pools.
At the Edison Club on Riverview Road in Rexford, the swimming pool is being used a lot less this summer, said Andy Hughett, the golf club’s general manager.
He said the only time the club shuts down the pool is when there is a lightning storm or when the forecast is for rain throughout the day.
Rainfall during the first part of July is also above average, according to the National Weather Service. The average rainfall for the entire month of July is 3.5 inches at the Albany International Airport while this year 4.09 inches of rain has fallen in less than half a month.
“There has been a lot of lightning with recent storms,” Amberger said. She said the Adirondacks and North Country have been especially hard hit by electrical storms and scattered power outages over the past two weeks.
Today is expected to be sunny again with highs in the mid-70s. On Wednesday, the temperature will get up to 80 degrees but later Wednesday and into Thursday a low pressure system will arrive, bringing some showers, Amberger said. However, the high temperatures are expected to remain in the low 80s, despite the showers.