Some summer lovers wait for the hot sun and high humidity of July and August — to sing a song of fire and ice (in lemonade).
The ice and lemonade have shown up. People are still waiting for the fire.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Albany say the Capital Region has not experienced an extended heat wave this summer. Meteorologist Luigi Meccariello said there have been only four days of 90 degrees (or higher) temperatures since June. “We had one in June, we had three in July,” he said.
“It’s all based on the weather pattern,” he added. “We haven’t had those stretches of 90-degree days, but it varies from year to year. This year, we have not seen that kind of heat.”
“We look at climate data either by month or day to day and so far, by day to day, certain days have been cooler than others,” Meccariello said. “In terms of a monthly average, for the month we’ve actually been close to normal. So it’s nothing too uncommon.”
During July, according to the weather service, the average high temperature was 82.1 degrees — just under the normal 82.3 high temperature average. August should average 80.4 degrees.
Heat lovers had sweeter — and sweatier — times in 2013.
“Last year in July, we had nine days of 90 degrees or higher,” Meccariello said. “In July and June combined, we had 13 days of 90 degrees or higher, compared to the four this year. We had zero 90-degree days in August.
“In 2009, in June and July, we didn’t have any,” Meccariello continued. “In August, we had three days. So it really does range from year to year.”
Absence of the long, hot summer has been noticed.
In the past, National Grid has had to ask customers to conserve energy during times of heat and high usage.
“We haven’t done that at all this year,” said Patrick Stella, an Albany-based spokesman for the power transmission and distribution company. “We have in the last few years, we’ve hit some record peaks. And we really didn’t see that this summer.
“We have not had to ask customers to curtail usage this summer, we haven’t seen any large power surge, we haven’t had any prolonged heat waves,” he added. “When you have several days of 90 degrees is when it really takes a toll on the system.”
Nell Burrows, president of the Freedom Park Foundation, said temperatures did not affect the park’s 32-concert series in Scotia. She did notice people making personal statements about the weather.
“There were definitely more long sleeves,” she said. “And the mosquitoes weren’t so bad this year.”
Mike Aragosa, a manager at family-owned Marty’s True Value Hardware on Van Vranken Avenue in Schenectady, said sales of fans and air conditioners have been slow.
“On the plus side, we’ve had a lot of good days for painting outdoors and sealing your driveway,” he said. “Business has been good for that reason. I’ve said in the past, our business revolves around change in terms of the weather. We wouldn’t do so well if it was always the same. Change is good.”
Aragosa also said he’s been repairing bunches of window screens, and he knows the reason: When humidity and heat are missing, people will turn off their air conditioning systems and open their windows. But they can’t open their windows — and open their homes to bees, flies and mosquitoes — if they have holes in their screens.
Al Parker, owner of the Pirate’s Hide-Out ice cream restaurant and miniature golf course in Halfmoon, also said the mild summer has affected his business.
“Ninety degrees is like rain to us — they come out at night, not during the day,” he said. “Seventy degrees, they come out during the day and night. This has been a great year for us.”
Zach Hurst was one of the reasons behind Parker’s great year. He sat on the Hide-Out’s side patio last week with a tall chocolate ice cream cone covered with chocolate sprinkles.
“Ice cream is always good no matter what the season is,” said Hurst, 16, a junior at LaSalle Institute in Troy. “It’s a nice, cool treat that cools you down on a summer night.”
Other high school students were enjoying seasonal — but not sweltering — temperatures. It’s been a switch from last March, when cold temperatures kept many softball, baseball, lacrosse and track participants indoors.
Athletes at Mohonasen High School in Rotterdam, preparing for autumn football, soccer and cross-country seasons, have been running plays — and just running — in comfortable weather. And grass fields are summer green — not scorched brown.
“I think the lack of commentary has been the indicator it’s been on the cooler side,” said Matt Stein, Mohonasen’s athletic director. “There’s no weather talk ... it’s been very comfortable and very easy to deal with.”
Strikers and running backs received a little surprise early last week, when temperatures hit the mid-80s. “It was almost like a little bit of a shock to the kids,” Stein said.
Like high school athletes, farmers also had a rough start to their season. Cool weather meant delays in some places, said Steve Ammerman of the New York Farm Bureau in Albany. Early rain presented other problems.
“For the most part, farmers have weathered things really well this summer,” said Ammerman, the bureau’s manager of public affairs.
Apple and corn crops both look good. Ammerman said some late summer heat would benefit late-planted corn — and give tomatoes a little extra help.
Summer has until Sept. 23 to rally. Meteorologist Meccariello said there will be the usual variability, as summer turns to autumn. Early September highs average in the mid-70s.
“By the end of the month, it will average in the upper 60s,” he said.