It's been a bummer of a summer for Sonoma County sun worshipers.
By this time last year, Santa Rosa had sweated through 18 days of 90-degree-plus temperatures. So far in 2010, only two days above 90 degrees were recorded, both in June, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile July, which is normally a hotter month, turned into a prolonged period of sweater weather.
The average maximum temperature was 75.1 degrees, more than 7 degrees below the 50-year average for July and filled with cool evenings and cold nights. In fact, it was the second lowest temperature average for July since 1960, barely warmer than the coolest July in 1987.
"I keep telling people I've been waiting for summer to arrive and it hasn't come," said Don Hicks, recreation supervisor for the City of Santa Rosa.
For Hicks, the cool temperatures couldn't have come at a worse time. Just as he's trying to protect the pools from cuts or closures resulting from the city's economic woes, the weather has slashed attendance.
In typical years, the pools routinely fill to capacity forcing new arrivals to wait in line until others exit the pool. This year, that's occurred only one or two times, Hicks said. And the cold mornings have made swim lessons a hard sell for the Tadpoles, the youngest customers.
The number of people coming to family swim times or lessons at Finley Aquatic Complex and Ridgway Swim Center plunged from 34,649 last July to 23,515 in the same month this year, a 32 percent drop.
"I'm seriously concerned because of lower attendance and reduced revenue because of the weather," Hicks said.
Elsewhere locally cooler temperatures have been blamed for everything from delayed harvests to reduced attendance at the Sonoma County Fair to sub-par rides for hang gliders, who depend on rising heat for lift.
"This season has been mediocre at best," said Michael O'Leary, vice-president of the Sonoma Wings Club.
For sun lovers, there's little to do but shake their fists at the sky and throw on a cardigan. A low-pressure trough parked off the coast has been causing marine air to reach farther inland, said Warren Blier, science officer for the National Weather Service in Monterey.
August is usually the hottest month of the year, but so far it too has been cool. The forecast for the next week calls for more of the same weather, Blier said.
Sonoma County is certainly not alone. Similar conditions have cooled cities across the Bay Area. It was the coldest July in downtown San Francisco since 1971, in San Jose since 1958, and in Monterey since at least 1949, Blier said.
Of course, not everybody misses the heat. For athletes like Dustin Shaffer, soon to be a senior at Maria Carrillo High School, the cool days are welcome during pre-season sprints for the school's football teams.
In other years, you'd be so exhausted after morning weights and sprints, you'd just want to sleep. Now, you can workout by yourself in the afternoon, said Shaffer, who plays center and defensive tackle for Carrillo.
"It's easier to work hard when you don't have 100 degree weather on you," he said.
The weather is also welcome at the Sonoma County Water Agency, which pumped 5,000 acre-feet of water to customers in July, compared to 8,230 acre-feet in 2006, the last year without any water restrictions.