Maine’s tourism industry suffering due to cooler, wetter, weather

NOTE: There seems to be an abundance of anecdotal weather evidence that the northern latitudes in North America have had a cooler summer than usual. Of course there are places that have bucked that trend also. Still it is interesting to note, just as the Washington Post did in July when temperatures seemed a bit warm.

From Amy Sinclair, NECN

August is usually the busiest month of the year for Maine’s tourism industry. With August off to a soggy start, there are a lot of long faces in Vacationland. Fleece and sweatshirts have replaced bikinis at Old Orchard Beach and no one’s buying ice cream.

Instead, it’s rained 10 of the last 11 days and it’s unseasonably cool. Who’s counting? Families on vacation, that’s who. “A little depressing so far ha. It would have been nice to go to Aquaboggan today.” Instead Dad had to break the bad news to Melanie, Alex and Nathan–the waterpark was closed due to weather. Staying closed on a lucrative 10-dollar Monday means 20 to 30 thousand dollars down the tubes..And in Aquaboggan’s short nine week season, they can’t make that money back.

While bad weather tends to scare off last minute travelers, vacationers who’ve booked ahead usually forge ahead. They string up the blue tarp at the campground and try to make the best of it.

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41 thoughts on “Maine’s tourism industry suffering due to cooler, wetter, weather

  1. I would assume folks further south, along the shoreline from Mystic to P-town, have been having the same complaints. This persistent upper level low has made the past week even here, in the NYC area, at least five degrees below normal, ith bout after bout of flasing, crashing 0-vis t-storms.

    So I submit this , the opening sentence of R.A. Scotti’s__The Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938__.

    “At the tail end of the bleakest summer in memory, weeks as gray as weathered shingles and drenching downpours, Sept 21 arrived in southern New England like a gift from the gods.

    Unfortunately, these gods were not indigenous; they came from Africa and the Cape Verdes, and their intentions were not benign

  2. Instead of the usual Bermuda high cycling warm humid air up the Atlantic coast, this summer has seen lots of low pressure cells swirling over New England. Normally July and August go dry with the only precipitation coming from cold front thunderstorms advancing eastward. Instead we’re seeing flood warnings where droughts were just a couple of years ago as the rain clouds come from the south. Distinctly different weather this summer for both temperature and precipitation.

  3. We’ve had some awesomely coolish sunny days so far this August, which is not the norm in Cincy. Hot and humid is the norm.

  4. Let the flogging and flaying begin!

    I love anecdotal evidence…

    As someone who flies all over Canada for work, I can say that this is DEFINITELY not a warm year anywhere up here. Calgary’s thunderstorm season was almost 2 weeks late, and it’s usually pretty consistent. But that’s anecdotal, I’m sure there were other years just like this one.

    Oh hey, that’s my point, isn’t it? This is a cool year, but it’s not unusual. I’m not looking forward to a “typical” cold winter here either. I’m already starting to stake out my path so I’m walking uphill both ways to work to impress the kids. My parents have stories about some pretty incredible storms, and that’s from memory (they’re 71). I, for one, would HATE to see a repeat of our unusually cold 95-96 winter. Except it wasn’t unusual. Sure seemed like it, with more than 30 days in a row with a high below -30c.

  5. Isn’t it ironic, that a state so reliant on tourism and has used global warming arguments to restrict new developments (due to fuel used to get there), is going to reduce its carbon footprint since, due to cold weather, no one wants to go there.

  6. Yep – same here. We just got back from camping (Cornwall, Olde England) and it was utterly dreakit (Scottish for miserably wet – something that occurrs often enough for a word to be created to describe the phenomenon ) the entire week. I got drenched more often on the beach this year than I did in the water last year. It rained every day (since July 26th) before we left and has rained every day since we returned. Now thunderstorms.

    It was forecast over two months ago by my father-in-law when we told him the schedule. He even gave the droplet sizes correctly. Does mainstream science want to know? Most places he ever offered to divulge said something along the lines of “…it’s too much like astrology. Please desist.” Too late now. He has just proved himself with one of the biggest commodity brokers/banks (a substantial number of traders use astrological markers). All (lol) he had to do was predict temperature for a given latitude and date range (the target commodity is severely damaged by frost) 2 months in advance. His theory can do this standing on its head.

    Now he. like many before him, is going on to earn a nice crust while the people he offered to open up to will continue to stumble about in the dark.

  7. The temps have been quite moderate in NYC so far this summer. I was surprised to see the uptick in the July anomaly. I wonder where the bump in the rug was.

  8. That persistent large upper level low pressure system in Eastern Canada is impacting the Great Lakes as well as the Northeastern U.S. It pulls down cooler air from Canada as well as a series of slow moving storm systems. So far this summer we’ve not yet had an official temperature of 90°F in Buffalo.

    Won’t be hearing any references to it on the evening news as it doesn’t fit into the politically correct paradigm of pending catastrophic climate change.

  9. Drought, yes drought is a particular problem with various locations in the upper plains and midwest. Dry, cool continental air masses from the Yukon and Northwest Territories have created a wall along the northern 1/5 of the US. Along this boundary there has been considerable rainfall, but north of it has been dry and cool. This is 2 years in a row that Cp air has penetrated the US into August. Normally, this is the time of the hottest days of the year.

  10. The MRF is still showing a Fall Signal with a very strong cutoff low forming this week in the high plains.

  11. So far our daytime August temps (in the 90’s) in Eastern Oregon have been warmer than last month and last year. However, our nighttime tempts are dipping into the 30’s, which is colder than last month and last year. That is a bit unusual. We will have frost on a regular basis before too long. Farmers are bailing their second cutting of alfalfa and grass hay. With these low night temps, we will get no third cutting, but we will get pasture. However, that means that for farmers who have little acreage of their own, they will be paying very high prices for scarce winter feed.

  12. Hi Gary,
    you seem to now your meteorology. Would the absence of this Bermuda system also explain the foul summer we are having in Ireland, depressions seem to come our way from the Atlantic and then stay around ,revolving around themselves.The Jet stream is a long way further south than it should be as well. All in all a bit of the old global warming would not be amiss here!

  13. Here in N.H. we have been having flooding rains, particularly this month, and, as in this past winter, where we almost broke the all-time snowfall record, as of yesterday we were in 7th place for total rainfall during June, July and August, and with showers last night, and very likely again this afternoon we are certainly within striking distance of breaking the all-time record.
    Also, on July 24th, a large, powerful F-2 tornado struck here (actually coming within just a few miles of our house), ripping a path of destruction 50 miles long over the course of 80 minutes through 9 communities.
    There is even the possibility of a Nor’easter this Thursday, which is more typical of winter weather.

  14. By the way, I just wanted to comment on record setting. Pro and Con AGW posts are always talking about record setters. Anything on the way up and then on the way down of a trended peak of any kind will have “6th hottest”, “7th hottest”, or “5th coldest” or “6th coldest” record statement to it. It does not mean that the trend is over when pro-AGW posts state that “[insert month] was the 7th hottest on record”. Yet I see this statement frequently. July will be up compared to other very recent months, but the trend to cooler overall is still present. Yet we will read that it was the “[insert number] hottest month on record” and therefore the 2008 Ice Age is over.

    It ain’t over till the Sun eventually revs back up to a boiling bright sphere of flares. Then we will know if the Sun has anything at all to do with climate.

  15. There have been 3 volcanoes in Alaska. How much of this cool weather is due to SO2 streaming across North America?

  16. Sound the alarm!!! Global warming alert!

    All of the hype, but none of the warmth here in New England this summer. On the contrary.

    I live next door in New Hampshire. Let me tell you, the summer started very promising in early June, but quickly turned into quite a disappointment. After getting our butts kicked with record setting snows this past winter, we were looking forward to a good summer. It seems that temperatures have been below normal for the past month and a half. Too bad to, we just bought a boat AND pool to celebrate AGW :)

    I wish it were 1998 again! Come on global warming.

  17. I wonder if this unseasonable weather in the northeast (and may be all the way down the east coast?) is the reason why hurricanes have remained so far off shore.

  18. I would guess that just about anyplace along the Canadian border can make the same claim.

    Here in Michigan we have stayed about 2° to 4° below “normal” since February. August is tracking just slightly less than 3° lower than normal. Anyone watching the PGA Championship might have noticed the players wearing long sleeves in the 60° temperatures and 20 mph wind.

    Just think of all of the CO2 we are not expending by not air conditioning. This is, no doubt, a positive feedback for global cooling.

  19. We were vacationing in Maine in late May dodging rain clouds, but the conversation was about the winter weather. At the first camp ground we stayed at in Sanford Maine, to open on the 1st week of May they had to plow the snow off the campground roads and RV parking places, “the first time in the 23 years we owned the camp ground”, said the lady at the desk. The lakes and ponds were over flowing from all the extra water. When we made reservations Bar Harbor, the lady said the snow was nine feet deep on the office deck, “the deepest we have ever seen,” she said. Every where we went the conversation was about the winter snow.

  20. Article from UK Daily Telegraph that Autumn is arriving early:
    Autumn begins early after a washout August

    By Aislinn Simpson
    Last Updated: 3:01pm BST 12/08/2008

    Autumn looks to be arriving early with traditional harbingers such as blackberries and russet-tinted leaves already appearing around the country.
    Forecasters warn that the rest of the summer is set to be a washout and hopes of an Indian summer are now fading.
    Such wet conditions, combined with warmer average temperatures brought about by climate change, confuse plants into thinking that Keats’s season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness” has already arrived.
    Hedgerows are already studded with ripe blackberries and mushrooms are springing up in the woods, more than a month ahead of the official start of autumn, the September 23 equinox.
    At the Westonbirt National Arboretum in Gloucestershire and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, southwest London, trees such as Beeches and Spindles are already on the turn.
    Owen Davies, of the Forestry Commission which runs Westonbirt, said leaves begin to turn as temperatures drop, but added the wet weather could also be blamed for breeding diseases that discolour leaves.
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    “The leaf is the food factory of the tree and so as the nights draw in and the temperatures start to fall, the tree realises autumn is approaching,” he said.
    “Since trees do not grow during this period, the factory closes down and the leaves begin to die.”
    Travel agents said the disappointing weather has generated an increase of up to 30 per cent in bookings, as Britons fly away in search of sunshine.
    “There’s always an element of this in August but this year, people are clearly desperate to get away from the rain,” said Sean Tipton, of the Association of British Travel Agents.
    Ian Johnson, of the National Farmers Union, said the early arrivals showed that summer in the traditional sense is no longer.
    “The seasons seem to be extending – you get a spring/summer for two months and then you’re right into autumn for three or four months,” he said.
    Despite their ability to adapt to the changing climate, he said, farmers are now praying for a brief let up in the deluge.
    “They really do need a sustained period of sunshine now,” he said. “It’s frustrating for them having to watch their crops rotting in the fields with all this rain.
    “A bit of good weather is long overdue.”
    Jonathan Powell, senior weather forecaster at Positive Weather Solutions, said that while there could still be a few brighter days, on the whole “that really is it for summer 2008”.
    “Our attention is turning to September and the hope of a last gasp, but even that now is looking distinctly unfavourable, with yet again the Atlantic considerably influencing our weather,” he said.

    Oh dear the sun controls the weather

  21. Hey I think we have a consensus here! Can we now dictate economic policy?
    We could call ourselves Watts up with that panel on climate change.
    I could make some models, get someone too draw up some scary climate scenarios. Aww the power, the money, the acclaim. Wow I am getting light headed just thinking about it!!!!

  22. It is a rather cool, wet summer up here in Maine. Very fitting considering it is following a fantastic long winter with plenty of snow! I have already hung up my wakeboard for the summer and am looking forward to another nice winter for snowboarding. I plan on doing some quality hiking, camping, and 4wheeling before fall sets in with hunting season. I love this state! I am on vacation year round.

  23. I spent the last two weeks of July in the Muskoka region of Ontario. Not a single day above 75F (24C). Most days were in the mid 60’s to low 70’s and it was mostly cloudy with showers.

    Spent a few days in Toronto and Ottawa, where it was about 10F warmer and (Toronto especially) a bit muggier. Still lots of clouds and showers.

    I had a great time at the lake all the same. Everybody else was whining about the cool, wet summer weather! The nice part was that it wasn’t muggy. I guess I was more used to that kind of weather being from the PNW.

    I haven’t been there since the early 1990’s and I recall it being much warmer, but memories are fuzzy things.

  24. Mr iceFree said: (15:01:03) :

    “Hey I think we have a consensus here! Can we now dictate economic policy?
    We could call ourselves Watts up with that panel on climate change.
    I could make some models, get someone too draw up some scary climate scenarios. Aww the power, the money, the acclaim. ”

    I’m fat and know no science, I could be the new Mr Gore.

    Incidentally, I’m heading to Boston and Mystic at the end of the month, it’s not nice to learn that the weather there is as miserable as it is here. Oh well, we might just have to sit in the pub all day.

  25. FatBigot: Your hired your credentials seem perfect for the job, but I get to fly the personal jet, and drive the limo.
    Oh and we need a big boat to that runs in bio Diesel, I get to drive that to O.K.?

  26. Terry: Sorry to hear about your washed out trip to Cornwall, but (living here) I can confirm it; this is the wettest summer I can remember, and is really going to damage our tourist industry. Truro is packed with doggy, depressed-looking families looking for something to do… Right now we have a Force 9 Westerly and driving rain; more like end of September than mid-August.

    What I call the “low pressure cannon” which usually feeds us a classic low (warm front+cold front) every 2-3 days across the Atlantic in the early Spring and Autumn has been working overtime for the 3 weeks or so, and looks like it’s going to continue;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/coast/pressure/

    I’m guessing this is some kind of teleconnection with La Nina?

    I can’t see how the Telegraph can possibly simultaneously blame the leaf-fall on ‘climate change’ and falling temperatures! But I can confirm that trees are getting hit hard by fungal diseases this year because of the damp. My sycamores have all gone brown early from it, and we’ve suddenly lost an elm to Dutch Elm Disease which has been absent for a decade. But on the plus side we’ve got the best (and earliest) apples we’ve had for years.

  27. The NOAA map agrees with the anecdote from the first full week of August in the northeast. Lots of blue, the darker variety in Maine. The rest of the country’s a little more moderate, but it isn’t scorching anywhere:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/regional_monitoring/us_weekly_tanom.shtml

    Here are some other cool spots around the globe during that week:

    I only posted the regions where there seems to be a lot of blue. Some other areas are more red, but there aren’t a whole lot of places around the globe that show dark red. (Coincidentally, China was one of those spots)

    These are unofficial, but I keep a casual eye on them. This seems like one of the cooler weeks I’ve seen in a while on a global basis, just from a 10,000 foot view.

  28. De facto climatic autumn began on or around July 19th in many areas of the Far West. Even in the midst of our short climatic summer, the normal zonal pattern never took hold strongly. Instead, we had multiple episodes on meridional flow, including the most dramatic instance at the Solstice, where a cold pool intruded into a stagnation scenario (which had given some record high temps along the coast) triggering a massive outbreak of moisture starved thunderstorms, resulting in the now infamous California fire crisis. In Jobian fashion, the smoke from the fires hindered insolation significantly for over one month, seriously setting back this year’s wine grape crop. I hope this is not a precursor to even worse things, but fear it may be.

  29. RE: Dr. M.A. Rose (12:22:32) :

    Ditto here, in coastal N. Calif. Leaves are turning. A state biologist ascribed it to drought stress. Well then, why are trees in irrigated, landscaped areas also starting to turn?

  30. Cool summer – a normal nature’s cycle, just like bad harvest, good harvest. But I see a disturbing pattern here – because Artic and Antarctic plus Greenland ice is melting at an alarming rate, the cold water and the cold air created is cooling the atmosphere… that’s temporary. After all the ice is gonbe, there will be a huge unprecedented warming with tewmps into way over 100s every summer anywhere on Earth. Mark my words in your memory and check it out in 10-20 years.

  31. Noa said:

    Cool summer – a normal nature’s cycle, just like bad harvest, good harvest. But I see a disturbing pattern here – because Artic [sic] and Antarctic plus Greenland ice is melting at an alarming rate, the cold water and the cold air created is cooling the atmosphere… that’s temporary. After all the ice is gonbe [sic], there will be a huge unprecedented warming with tewmps [sic] into way over 100s every summer anywhere on Earth. Mark my words in your memory and check it out in 10-20 years.

    Umm, what melting are you talking about? Nothing is melting at an alarming rate. Greenland is gaining overall mass while melting a little around the edges, at least as of last year, probably gaining all around this year. The Antarctic has been gaining mass for many years, the ice has been so bad in the surrounding oceans that normal shipping has had major problems.

    The current cooling in the Northern Hemisphere has nothing to do with ice melting anywhere, but due to the Pacific Ocean flipping to a cool phase, as it does every few decades, then back to a warm phase, etc…

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