SO LONG TO A SUMMER THAT WASN'T

September 19, 2008 11:00 pm

By Scott Graves

Pilot staff writer

"Look! Blue sky!"

The cry went up at the Pilot office Thursday morning as we spotted patches of blue in a ceiling of gray clouds outside

The blue quickly spread briefly, chasing the gray to the horizon. Perhaps we'll get that Indian Summer after all, I thought.

Yeah, right.

It's been a cooler than normal summer. My wife disagrees. We've stopped talking about it.

Don't get me wrong. I like cooler weather, but at the appropriate time of the year.

I've lived here for nine years, so I know better than to expect hot, tropical summer days. But I do expect a respectable number of balmy days where one can walk the beach at sunset without risk of hypothermia.

Granted, there have been a few one- and two-day heat waves and, driving a few miles north, south and east of Brookings, one may have found warmer weather, but overall, the mercury has been hovering at or below the 65-degree mark nearly all summer.

Proof? I checked the meteorological data recorded by the Pilot's weather station (located in downtown Brookings). The information is accessible to the public at www.currypilot.com.

Here's what I found:

The average high temperature for June was 66; July was 68, August was 66 and September, so far, is 67.

In June, the temperature was higher than 65 degrees on 12 out of the 30 days – four of those days the high was in the mid-70s, three were in the 80s and one day it was 90 degrees. On the cooler side of things, the high temperature stayed at or below 65 degrees on 18 days.

July records show 12 days with highs in the 50s, 11 days in the 60s, three days in the 70s, three days in the 90s, and two days where the high hit 100 and 108. That means there were only eight days when the temperature was higher than 70 degrees. Brrrrr.

Ah, the promise of August. Nope.

The records show seven days with highs in the 50s, 19 days in the 60s, three days in the 70s, one day in the 80s and one day in the 90s.

The cool trend continued into September. As of Thursday (Sept. 18), there were eight days with highs in the 50s, four days in the 60s, three days in the 70s, one day in the 80s and two days in the 90s. (Note: the high temperature ranged from 54 to 58 degrees for eight straight days leading up to Thursday.)

So there's your proof. It's been a cool summer. I rest my case.

What's worse is, all summer I've told people complaining about the cool weather, "Just wait until September and October. That's when we get our best weather."

Mother Nature has made a liar out of me.

Its only saving grace is the rainfall – which has been almost nonexistent all summer. The rain total from May through Sept. 18 is a measly 2.88 inches – more than half of which fell during a two-day period in August (and coincided with the outdoor celebration of Art Walk Alley!)

As of today, I've pretty much written off the summer of 2008 as the summer that wasn't. I'm putting my hope in a mild winter.

Who's up for 70 degrees and sunny on Christmas Day?