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Expect a warmer, drier summer in the months ahead

July 5, 2019

Expect a warmer-than-normal summer through September, but not as much rain as we had in last year’s record-breaking summer. That’s according to Dave Samuhel, senior meteorologist at Accuweather in State College, Pa.

The Cape Gazette has been publishing weekly forecasts from Accuweather for 17 years and has found the prognosticators typically live up to their name. Last week’s temperatures fell in line. Average temperature for the week was 80.9 compared to a normal average temperature for that week of 74.8. As of June 30, we’ve had 23.09 inches of rain - measured at Georgetown - compared to average rainfall at this point of 22.62 inches.

“I expect us to have a pretty hot summer this year but not as wet as last year when it was ridiculously wet all along the Eastern Seaboard. Last year the moisture came up the coast, but this year they’ve had a lot of rain in the central plains states and that trend is continuing. It’s a different scenario,” said Samuhel.

He said a weather trough has developed west of the Appalachians which is spinning off lots of thunderstorm complexes. “There’s all kinds of moisture in the central plains, but the thunderstorm complexes that produce that rain are getting shredded by the mountains when they head east. That’s leading to above-average moisture in the Appalachians and all the way west to the Rockies.”

Samuhel said Accuweather sees above-normal precipitation in the southern states going into the fall, but drier conditions to the north. “You’re kind of in the middle,” he said. “So, for your area, we see about average rainfall in the fall and a warmer-than-normal fall through September and early October, and then the rest of the fall into December slightly above normal for temps.”

Electric skateboards?

A reader wrote this week in response to a recent column about electric bicycles on local trails. He said he sees electric skateboards on local trails in addition to electric bicycles and wondered whether they are legal.

Delaware Division of Parks spokesman Mike Globetti said the motorized skateboards are not permitted on trails administered by the Division of Parks such as those in Cape Henlopen State Park, though the laws he cited are not exactly clear on this point. They state: “Using roller skates, skateboards, roller skis or similar devices is prohibited on lands administered by the Division except in areas which may be designated for such use.” Also, “Persons on skateboards, roller skates, coasters, sleds or toy vehicles are prohibited from being towed or propelled by a motorized vehicle on lands administered by the Division.” Globetti said he will send further clarification if he finds any.

Mistaken communication?

A trail user recently wrote a letter expressing dismay that her wearing of a Hillary Clinton hat while walking drew a comment of ‘Lock Her Up” from a group of riders that passed her. Her letter buzzed through the local cycling community, but no one has claimed responsibility for the comment.

One local rider offered a possible alternate scenario. He noted that riders in groups often holler out short warnings to those riding behind them, alerting them to road conditions such as cars coming from behind - Car Back! - or holes in the road surface - Pothole! - to avoid problems.

Another common warning sounded out is Walker Up! to alert riders behind that they are approaching a pedestrian. The local rider wondered whether the lady who expressed concern might have heard Walker Up! and, knowing she was wearing the Hillary Clinton hat, might have put two and two together and misheard the warning as Lock Her Up.

I have no idea if that’s what actually happened, but it sounds feasible.

The summer is in full swing now. Get out and enjoy it in all its glory.

  • Dennis Forney has been a journalist on the Delmarva Peninsula since 1972 and has been writing his Barefootin’ column for The Whale and then the Cape Gazette for more than 30 years. Contact Dennis at dennisforney@capegazette.com.