PRINCETON — Bureau County may be in the middle of summer, but the recent cooler temperatures have made it seem more like fall.
WQAD News 8 chief meteorologist James Zahara said he’s been getting a lot of questions about the recent cooler temperatures and if the cooler temperatures could mean an early fall and winter.
“Hardly. The trend through August does look slightly cooler than normal, I’ll admit that,” Zahara said. “But there are strong signs that an El Nino is still on track this autumn and winter. For our part of the country, it usually means a warmer and drier weather pattern.”
Though this week has seen an “impressive dip in temperatures,” Zahara said the cooler temperatures are not unusual for July.
“In fact, the latest (cooler July temperatures) was back in July 2009, on July 8, 17 and 18, where most towns in the Quad Cities area experienced highs only in the 60s,” Zahara said.
The cause for the current cooler weather event goes back to last week’s Super Typhoon ‘Neoguri,’ as it belted the country of Japan, Zahara said. As the core of this unseasonably cool air settles across the Midwest, it will produce temperatures about 10 to 20 degree below normal.
But for people who love warmer temperatures, it looks like summer’s warmth should return with high temperatures in the 80s forecast for next week, Zahara said.
Looking at temperatures recorded in Princeton, Bob Byrne of Princeton, who is with the National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program, said the average high temperature in Princeton for June was 80.1 degrees. The highest temperature of the month was 88 degrees, which was recorded on June 1, 2 and 18. There were only 20 days with at least 80-degree temperatures recorded in June.
So far in July, the highest temperature has been 85 degrees in Princeton, which was recorded July 1, 7, 8 and 13. There have been six days so far in July with at least 80 degree temperatures, Byrne said.
At least one area business has been impacted by the cooler temperatures.
Princeton Park District aquatics/rec assistant Baily Beaber reported attendance numbers at the Alexander Park outdoor swimming pool have been significantly lower than in past years. But on the other hand, there have been a couple of days where the outdoor pool has been maxed out, she said.
Rain or shine, Tuesdays are the best days at the Alexander Pool because those are $2 Tuesdays, Princeton Park District Executive Director Elaine Russell said. The outdoor pool has closed early maybe two or three times due to cooler temperatures, with Tuesday of this week being one of those days. But many who want to swim will go to the Metro Center pool when Alexander is not available, she added.
The weather has also impacted some of the outdoor summer work projects for the park district, specifically those involving digging. The excessive rain has been detrimental to the completion of the widening of the sidewalk and installation of handicap ramps at the Metro Center. Also, the excessive rain has delayed the installation of memorial park benches at Zearing Park.
On the other hand, since the cooler weather and excessive rain has made everything grow, the park crews are working harder just to keep up with cutting the grass, trimming and weed control, Russell said.
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