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10-01-04 Cool weather sets summer record

By Janie Southard

  Those who thought the summer was cooler than usual can chalk one up in the win column. The highest temperature this past summer was 88 degrees, making it the third coolest summer in more than a century with no days in the 90s.

  How rare is that?
  "Damn rare. Real rare," said Dennis Howick, local weather forecaster.
  When asked this morning about the issue, Howick at first thought there had been a 90-degree day or two early in the season. But a check by the Daily Standard with the National Weather Service -- which uses Howick's observations and data -- showed no daytime highs of 90 or warmer.
  By comparison, during the historic drought year of 1988, there were more than 30 days with highs in the 90s, including a few that peaked over 100.  Don Hughes of the National Weather Service office in Wilmington listed 1977 and 1976 as first place and runner up coolest summers, respectively, with average temperatures logged at 69.6 and 69.8 degrees.
  Poor Will's Almanack nixes any possibility of 90-degree days until next summer. In fact, chances of 90 degrees disappeared after Sept. 22 and won't return until late April next spring.
  Will's predictions for October include normal temperatures dropping to the 50s and average lows down in the 30s.
  Historically, weather fronts most likely to bring frost in October occur on the 2nd, 13th and 23rd days of the month, the almanack said.
  Admirers of autumn colors need to keep heads up the third week in October when fall colors will peak.
  What about an October snow? Will says yes. A light snow is possible between Oct. 12 and Oct. 26. The coldest days are forecast to be the 20th, 22nd, 25th, 27th, 28th and 29th.
  -- Staff writer Timothy Cox contributed to this story.


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