Sum-Sum-Summertime, Well Sort Of!

Weekend Travel Weather

If you are a purist, you will be annoyed by me saying that summer has arrived early. Since the solstice (and its longest daylight) is still 3+ weeks away, the stickler will say lets wait until June 20th before we coronate the end of spring and beginning of summer. Can’t say I argue with you astronomically, but meteorologically the weather maps look a lot like summer this Holiday weekend as air temperatures will flirt with 90. Michael Wooten has a story on summerizing your car at WSAZ.COM that may well serve as a friendly reminder on what you should do before hitting the road for a trip this hot Holiday weekend.

More compelling proof summer is here focuses on the first lightning bug sighting of the year by Penny and her lovely daughters! My final convincing argument for crowning Memorial weekend 2007 is the fact that the summer driving season is in high gear. Just look at the price of gas!

But whether you are in the summer or spring camp, you need to know the weather as you travel to the lake, mountains or beach this weekend. Here’s my very latest.

OHIO, BIG SANDY, KANAWHA VALLEYS

If you are staying at home this weekend, there are all sorts of outdoor activities planned. Load the kids up with an SPF 30 sun block before heading to the Memory Days parade in Grayson (I will be there too) on Saturday or the Vandalia Gathering in Charleston. The late May sun is as strong as it gets and with temperatures in the 85-90 range, severe sunburns await those who scoff at modern science and the premise of skin cancer. It’s for real folks.

My gut says an afternoon thundershower will approach from the north on Sunday (especially across southern Ohio and northern Kentucky) and muddle up our Memorial Day plans. As for when and where it will rain on Monday, that rain is a figment of my mind right now, so until we see the cells on radar, it is impossible to be more precise.

If you are lining Ironton for the big parade, just check with Justin all weekend long and here at WSAZ.COM for our latest forecast.

Preliminary indications hint that the temperature will be a humid 70 as the parade starts then rise to 75-80 by parade’s end. The lower temperature comes due to the higher humidity which will produce more cloud cover. Look for WSAZ to be prominently featured in the parade.

WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS

The cooler climes of the WV high country will be great place to beat the heat this weekend. Daytime highs will range from 82 at Hawks Nest, Babcock, Watoga and Summersville Lake to 75 at Snowshoe and Canaan Valley. My gut says a stray thundershower will be around both Saturday and Sunday in the northern mountains with a few downpours likely on Monday across the high chapparal.

NASCAR AND INDY RACES

Let me admit I am a once a year Indy car fan and twice a year NASCAR buff. A Mario Andretti fan from 1969 (hey growing up in the Italian Market section of Philly, when a Pisano made sports headlines, you gravitated to cheer for him/her), I find the Indy 500 as one of the more unique sporting events in the world.

Anyway, I see an unsettled weather pattern Saturday and Sunday in Indianapolis, so off and on showers are likely Sunday with at least one rain delay. Track surface temperatures, which were in the 90s and even 100 this week in the heat , will be in the cooler 70s on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600, it’s a hot and dry weekend. Highs on Sunday will be 90 for tailgaters though will cool into the 70s as the race ends in the evening. No rain is foreseen this weekend in Charlotte where the sky will be rather smoggy as a stagnant air mass hovers overhead. That should make for an incredible “goodness gracious, great balls of fire” sunset over the track on Sunday evening.

KINGS ISLAND & COLUMBUS ZOO

While most of Saturday will be warm and dry in Western and Central Ohio, I sense a thundershower may cool things down after 2 PM in Columbus and after 8PM in Cincinnati. So don’t be surprised if it rains along Route 23 and the Beltway in Columbus late Saturday afternoon and after the Reds game with the Pirates on Saturday eve. Days will be in the 80s and nights near 60.

MYRTLE BEACH

This is the first summer without the Pavilion Amusement park, but my sources tell me the beach is packed this weekend. Karen Patrick from the Garden City Pier tells me “the boardwalk is busy and the weather is great!” Right on Karen, in fact with a wind off the 74 degree water this weekend, our weather locally will be hotter than the 80 degrees I am forecasting at beachfront and 85 at downtown malls.

One good thing for the kids, several of the rides from the old Pavilion have been moved to the Broadway at the Beach as a relic of the Grand Strand has survived the condos and townhouses that supposedly represent “progress”! I am old fashioned, that stinks!!

Karen adds that fishing is going well with a smorgasbord of pompano, blues and whiting being taken by day and “a lot of sand sharks at night. But not the biting kind of sharks, Tony”! Good thing Kar, though I want to caution beach bums that the double whammy of direct sunlight and reflection of sunlight off sand and water will take a bite out of you if you don’t lather up.

Just like Charlotte, there should be no rain this weekend.


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