Clouds, wind steal North Coast summer

  • Chris Champagne bundled up in his hoodie to ride home from rock climbing on his high wheeled penny-farthing in Santa Rosa on Friday, August 9, 2013.

    (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

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.

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