Weather or Not: Last month of summer

WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer

Summer is over. Or is it? Technically fall does not arrive until Monday, Sept. 23 at 2:50 p.m. in the morning. However, many consider Labor Day the end of summer. And meteorologists like myself consider August 31 the last day of summer. I will say this…it sure feels like fall around here.

Last September, we warmed to the 80s nine times, and we even hit the 90s for highs twice. It was also our sixth wettest September on record with 6.87 inches of rain. I wouldn’t expect that kind of heat this month. Perhaps that is a good thing with all of the autumn activities coming up. For starters, you can smash some grapes this weekend at Saint Croix Vineyards Grape Stomp Festival. You do actually have the opportunity to get purple feet tomorrow and Sunday. And while you’re out there you can get a jump on everything apple at Aamodts Apple Farm. I used to work at both of these fabulous places in my younger years. We did everything from making apple cider to serving folks samples of the tasty wines. We always enjoyed watching families come out to have fun and make some wonderful memories. You can do both this weekend. Just don’t expect me to serve you anything. I don’t work there anymore. But don’t be surprised if you see me out there soaking it all in with my family.

The following weekend marks the beginning of Oktoberfest out at the Gasthaus. There is nothing like grabbing a brat, some cool brew and trying to beat friends at Hammerschlagen. I have bent many nails over the years, and I’m usually wearing a jacket or sweatshirt, as the nights are getting cooler by mid-September.

If you are bummed that summer is ending, perhaps you want to hit the final Cruisin’ On The Croix car show on the 18th. I drive an old classic car, and I’m not putting it away for the winter yet. This is one of my favorite times of year to go cruising in the old beast. The leaves are starting to change a bit, the air is crisp and people are soaking up whatever warmth is still out there. I’m not going to lie; I usually have the heat on with the top down. But I still get out there.

By the end of the month, the average high will be down to 65 degrees, and the sun will set at 6:55 p.m. on the 30th. And the following weekend I will be putting up my Halloween decorations. Two things…I am a Halloween freak, and let’s not talk about October yet. We have a wonderful month to enjoy first.

Stillwater native Chris Shaffer is WCCO’s chief meteorologist.

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