Truthfully speaking Greg I don't remember a Summer with this many Cold Fronts during July and August. It has been unreal the weather pattern. The seasons seem to be changing. I know the Sun sets further North than when I was a kid. (No remarks Mac. Ken and Co.)
Stormy weather over the weekend forced the suspension of play during the Ford Senior Players Championship at The Tournament Players Club of Michigan in Dearborn.
Recreation ideas online
Great Lakes Escapes, The Detroit News' travel and recreation Web site, offers a wealth of information on events and attractions, historic sites, driving tours, recreational sports and family fun across Michigan. Go to detnews.com/greatlakesescapes/
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MADISON HEIGHTS - A little rain never hurt anyone - unless, of course, you run a water park.
"It's really been a difficult summer," said Rachel Meyers, manager of the Red Oaks Water Park in Madison Heights.
It was a sweltering weekend, the kind that should have packed the park on a typical July weekend. But instead of the usual crowds of 1,400 or so, just 300 people were splashing away at midday. Why?
"Well, it's rained every other weekend this summer. We really didn't expect today to be any different," park-goer Don Green of Southfield said Saturday. He piled his family into the car when he realized the gray clouds overhead weren't going to develop into a rainstorm. "I'm pleasantly surprised."
The dreary summer of 2004, wetter and colder than average, is putting a damper on recreation and businesses across Michigan. Golf courses are waterlogged, resort towns have seen a dip in tourist travel. Even the utility companies are suffering as the cooler-than-normal weather drives down demand for air conditioning.
May 2004 was the wettest on record, June was damp and chilly - two degrees colder than normal - and July got off to a soggy start, with thunderstorms on Independence Day.
The weather is hurting tourism trade.
Business at Mackinac-area golf courses is off 30 percent, said Brad Jones, executive director of the Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce. Traffic across the Mackinac Bridge was down 4 percent in June - or 22,000 cars - and overall, spring business in the northern city appears to be down 5 percent.
"The weather dictates a lot in the travel industry. Sometimes the projections affect us more than the actual weather itself," he said. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, if they're calling for a poor forecast, are you going to go ahead with your plans for a trip? We're seeing a lot of cancellations and whatnot - even though most of the time, those forecasts are wrong."
So far this year, there have only been three days when the mercury topped 90 degrees - compared to the average of eight to 10 - which means few people have had cause to crank the air conditioning.
That's good news for consumers, but bad for DTE Energy, which reports that power use in Metro Detroit was below normal for April, May and June. That translates into a loss of millions of dollars for the electric companies, for the second year in a row.
At the National Weather Service station in White Lake, meteorologist Steven Freitag said last year's clammy summer ended with a nice, hot August, but there's no way to tell yet if the weather will improve this year.
"It certainly has been cooler than normal," he said. "And that wet May is going to be tough to forget for most people."
July's wild weather, which has swung from lows in the 40s to highs in the 90s, from stifling humidity to thunderstorms didn't deter Detroiter Gerri Santos from bringing her children to Belle Isle to play in the rain on Monday.
"They won't melt," she laughed, watching her 4-year-old twins swinging in the playground, despite the light drizzle. "I had to get them out of the house. They were bouncing off the walls. The nice thing about going to the park on a day like this? No crowds."
All those crowds have to go somewhere. Rainy-day business at the local malls has been brisk.
"We're packed to the gills," said Ed Nakfoor, a retail consultant whose clients include the Somerset Collection in Troy.
But stormy weather has been driving shoppers away from downtown Birmingham, where merchant Kirk Kuchukian is thinking about giving away umbrellas to encourage customers to carry on with their window-shopping in the rain. Although his own sales have been holding steady, he says neighboring businesses are hurting.
"There have been a lot of merchants complaining that their sales are off substantially," Kuchukian said.
h2o understands this unusal year of weather for sure