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Boots, hats and hoodies — is this not summer? Where have the breezy days, with their tank tops and sandals, gone?

August has started off wind-chilled and foggy, with average high temperatures 7 degrees below the norm for Santa Rosa. And the lows are lower too — 3 degrees colder than average for this month.

Early August temperatures usually top out at nearly 83 degrees, but the average this year has only reached 76 degrees. Friday's high temperature was 74, and the low was 53, according to AccuWeather.

The stolen summer has pushed chilled residents to forgo sandals and tank tops, opting instead for jeans and scarves.

"(Customers) will come in and be like 'Oh, this weather, you can't lay out in it,'" said Devon Brecht, front desk manager at Tan Tropics UV Therapy in Windsor.

Customers who normally visit Queen Nail Spa in Windsor seeking a pedicure to show off in strappy sandals are this month pulling off boots and enjoying a hot soak, said Quyen Tran, owner.

"In the water, it's warm. It feels so good," she said. "They like to relax."

The latest weather system is the result of a low-pressure trough off the coast that keeps the marine layer of heavy clouds and thick fog from burning off and blowing away, said National Weather Service meteorologist Will Pi.

"We've been way below normal," Pi said.

The cooler temperatures have slowed the pace of wine grape ripening — halting a rush to harvest for grape growers, many of whom had been preparing for an early harvest.

Temperatures are expect to pick up over the weekend — but not by much.

High temperatures should be in the upper 70s Sunday and Monday, with lows still unseasonably cold and in the low 50s.

Those temperatures are not dissuading campers from staking out spots in the county's most coveted campsites, said Bert Whitaker, park manager for Sonoma County Regional Parks.

"They are bundling up and going anyway," he said.

Programs and outings have remained busy, but hikers and recreationalists are changing their patterns to accommodate the unseasonably cool temperatures, he said.

Exposed areas such as Taylor Mountain and Hood Mountain — typically too hot for extended excursions in the summer — have been popular during the cold stretches, Whitaker said.

"In this more mild weather, it picks up at those facilities like it's November," he said, noting that swimming areas have not been quite as busy.

Despite the chill, people are still seeking out water spots, said Linda Burke, owner of Burke's Canoe Trips on the Russian River.

"The weather really hasn't been an obstacle because people have faith that the early morning fog will burn off," she said. "It's been a little cooler than normal, but it has been burning off each and every day."

The heavy fog and dark skies can be a boon for birdwatchers, said Bob Speckels, past president of the Madrone Audubon Society in Sonoma County.

"Some of the very best bird walks that I have led have been in inclement weather, cold and windy; the birds are grounded and they aren't flying around and being elusive," he said.

Recent sightings of the elusive brown booby and a warbler not usually seen in these parts can't necessarily be attributed to the unseasonable weather, but Speckels said the temperatures may be affecting migration patters, however slight.

"The brown booby — that is a very, very rare visitor," Speckels said. "These are birds that haven't been seen before but to say that there is a pattern, you just can't do that."

Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.

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