CAPITAL REGION Fans of parade season probably won’t be surprised to hear that this summer was wetter than most.
Not only were Memorial Day parades rained out in parts of the Capital Region, but Mother Nature spared no sympathy for Flag Day, either.
By any other climate standard, it was a fairly normal summer for the area. But the Capital Region had its seventh wettest summer in 139 years — the National Weather Service’s climate records for the Albany area date back to 1874.
“We were 5.4 inches above what we normally are for rainfall in the summer,” said Evan Heller, of the National Weather Service in Albany.
There was a total of 16.77 inches of rain this summer — up from the average of 11.37 inches. The daily average precipitation was 0.18 inches. The record maximum rainfall for the area fell in 1871, with 27.21 inches that summer. The minimum fell in 1929, with 4.29 inches.
Temperatures were higher than normal this summer, but only slightly. The Capital Region reached a high of 96 degrees on July 19, in the middle of a week that was a memorable summer scorcher. The heat and humidity made it feel a lot hotter in some places. On June 16, the tarmac at Albany International Airport was recorded at a whopping 157 degrees.
But the average maximum temperature this summer was 80.7 degrees, just half a degree higher than usual. The mean temperature was 71.1 degrees, up 0.4 degrees from normal.
Heat and humidity were good for local marinas, though, whose owners said that based on gas sales, they had a better than normal boating season.
“We probably had one of the busiest seasons we’ve ever had since we opened the place nine years ago,” said Stacey Gordon, who owns and operates Gordon’s Lakeside Marine in Mayfield with her husband, Greg.
It’s not uncommon for boaters to come all the way from Colorado or California and spend their summer at camps around Great Sacandaga Lake, Gordon observed, taking their boats out for an entire week or weekend, eating and sleeping on the water the whole time.
“It really is different from year to year,” she said Monday. “We used to have a lull in August, but that hasn’t happened in a few years. We’ve been pretty busy right up until today, actually. People are now starting to drop off their boats for winterization and storage.”
Gordon said even when the weather was bad and rain fell steadily for some stretches, the marina remained busy. That probably had something to do with the clientele, she said.
“They have a lot of very large boats,” she said. “These are 40-to-50-foot boats, so they pretty much come here no matter what the weather is doing and stay inside their boat the whole time.”
Most marinas, and most summertime recreational spots, experience their largest crowds around Memorial Day weekend, July Fourth and Labor Day weekend. Good weather is key to turning a profit, said Bob Campbell, owner of Edinburg Marina & Powersports, but a rainy Saturday isn’t the same as a rainy Wednesday.
“A rainy Saturday in the summer is a disaster for a marina or anyone who’s in this business.,” Campbell said. “and I am almost certain we didn’t have any rainy Saturdays all summer long, which is big. If you get a rainy Saturday, that can be devastating. Our rain seemed to come on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and [other] weekdays.”
Campbell’s marina is located within the Adirondack Park, on the shores of the Sacandaga in Saratoga County, and attracts people year-round for boating and snowmobiling. Campbell said even this holiday weekend, with the forecast for clouds and rain, turned out for the better for the marina and boaters.
“It was a real bonus weekend for us,” he said. “Our biggest gauge for how summer has panned out is the gallons of gas sold and some of the service work we do. Overall, it was a good summer.
“But I’m glad it’s over. I’m ready to move on to the next season.”