Weather or Not: Last month of summer

WCCO Chief Meteorologist Chris Shaffer

Let’s start with a great seasonal debate. When does summer start?

Some argue that Memorial Day Weekend is the beginning. That’s when people are flocking to cabins, fishing and cooking meals on the grill. These are all very summer-like qualities.

Weather geeks like myself often talk about meteorological summer. We look at June, July and August as the summer months. Therefore, to me, summer starts June 1. Then there is the actual summer solstice. If you use a day planner, you will see “summer begins” on June 21. I think we should celebrate them all because we are not dealing with snow and freezing temperatures.

It has felt like summer all week with our highs in the 80s. The long-range models indicate we will have an average June with high temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s with a few spikes into the 90s. The Climate Prediction Center also indicates we should see average rainfall for the month.

I love this time of year because of the fun outdoor activities that should keep the chants of “I’m bored” at bay. Maybe I will see you at the Farmer’s Market tomorrow between 7:30 a.m. and noon. It is up and running Saturdays all summer long. I know the produce is wonderful at our local grocery stores, but there is something extraordinary about the fruits and vegetables you find at the Stillwater Veterans Memorial on Third and Pine streets. Yum!

I am constantly running into my old classmates from Stillwater Senior High School when I am cruising around in my old Ford convertible. The one topic that always comes up is whether I park that beauty downtown Stillwater on Wednesday nights. If you haven’t checked out Cruisin’ On The Croix at Lowell Park, you are missing out. Outdoor music, tasty food and more classic cars than you can imagine. I love the old hot rods, and I really love those who take the time, money and energy to keep these beauties on the road for all to enjoy.

For the 17th consecutive year, I get to celebrate Father’s Day on the 16th. Are you running out of gift ideas? How many tools does a fellow actually need? You could surprise pops this year and celebrate one day early (or celebrate both days!). On Saturday the 15th, the Food Truck Extravaganza will rock the Washington County Fairgrounds. From 11 a.m.-8 p.m., you can feast from over 30 food trucks, hit up the beer and wine tent and do some fun activities with your kids. This has been a big hit, and it has been growing each year.

And two weekends later, you can return to the fairgrounds for the kickoff to the 6th annual Flea & Crafter’s Market. The free event gets rolling the 29th and 30th. I remember asking my grandpa when I was little why anyone would want to by fleas. My daughters asked me the same when they were little. I have never found any fleas for sale at those events. Maybe they are sold out by the time I get there.

Stillwater native Chris Shaffer is WCCO’s chief meteorologist.

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