Dan Rattiner's Stories

It’s Happened: Hamptons Summer Expands to 4 Months

Last Friday afternoon, November 6, the temperature rose to 73° in Bridgehampton.

Besides the fact that there were people on blankets in bathing suits on the beaches, it was also quite a remarkable autumn day. Better yet, a summer’s day.

So far, the high temperature for every day in the month of November has exceeded the high average for the month of November by more than 10 degrees. It’s wonderful. And I think it is possible to announce that my theory—which says our new beach-weather summer season is no longer just July and August, but is in fact April to November—is finally beginning to play out as I predicted.

I’ve been thinking about this since February. You might recall that month. You probably would not like to recall that month. We had 72 feet of snow and the temperatures dipped to 30 below zero, or at least that’s what it felt like. The facts were we had 7 feet of snow and temperatures that got well below zero. It was the worst month of February in the last half-century and the average temperature was just 19.1°—nearly 14 degrees below normal.

What I hoped at the end of the relatively balmy month of March (the temperature was just 7 degrees below normal) was that these low temperatures were piling up (January was 3 degrees below normal) and that we were so far down under what the winter was supposed to be that surely we would make it up during the rest of the year. The whole year average, after all, is the whole year average. It doesn’t change. Yes, we are having Climate Change. Yes, the temperature is rising. But the average rise is just half a degree every 20 years. And here we were, just the first three months of 2015 and we had fallen behind this huge amount. All together, we lagged behind the average (January to December) year at that point 24 degrees just in the three months. That meant, to me anyway, we’d be making up those 24 degrees and maybe a smidgen more (for Climate Change) by New Year’s.

My theory, actually, was a hope. What would happen if the hotter weather making this up were not in July and August but in May and June and, in the fall, in September and October? Twenty-four degrees were at stake. It could come true if we were up 6 degrees during each of those spring and autumn months. And that would mean that the summer of 2015—I’m talking beach weather—would begin in May and last to the end of October. We’d have a six-month summer season.

Did it happen the way I had hoped? Well, no. But it has headed in the right direction. In total, we have, since last winter’s monster weather, made up just 4 degrees of the 24 we needed to make up. And though the spring was nearly normal and so was the high summer of July and August, the full 4-degree rise came in the fall, specifically in September.

This September, the average temperature for the month was amazing. There were days when it got above 80° at midday. It felt like summer.

In fact, the normal average for September is 64.5°. This September the average temperature was close to 70°. This average temperature was almost the same average as is the normal temperature of August (which is 71°.) We did, in fact, have a four-month summer season, from May 1 to October 1. Believe it.

And now we come to November. Did you put the beach chairs and lawn chairs away? Take them out. As I said, my theory is a hope. Let’s have sunshine and have good weather right until December 25, when on the morning of Christmas Day, let it snow. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.

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