Coldest summer in decades, brings fear of another harsh winter

As the summer comes to a close we look back on one of the coolest summers we have had in a while. Temperature rarely ever made it over 90 degrees, according to the Jennifer Bain and Sophia Rosenbaum article Summer 2014 is the Coldest in a decade, “Only four days have hit 90 degrees this summer, three in July and one in August, with the hottest temperature on the books clocking in at 91.” As we start to edge closer to the beginning of fall, should the residents be concerned that a mild summer could mean another dreadful cold summer?

Did the cooler summer weather have any affect on the air conditioner/fans and outdoor equipment sales in the Poughkeepsie area? To get that information I talked with the manager of Home Depot, “I did not see any dramatic drop in sales with outdoor and air conditioning units.” Jorge the manager continued, “Due to the cooler summer we actually lower on all that equipment so we were still making the sales of that equipment.” I also asked him about how Home Depot is looking to capitalize on the predictably harsh winter vastly approaching, “In preparation for the anticipated cold winter, Home Depot has started to stock up on heaters.” Though Home Depot did not see the cooler summer as a big issues, they did lower the prices of the units. Mean they still recognized it was a cooler summer and looked to lower their prices to accommodate to its customers.

To see if other stores in the Poughkeepsie area are following Home Depot’s lead I went to the Best Buy to talk with their store manager. When I attempted to talk with their manager, he by law could not tell me the sales, and he would not answer my question about what Best Buy was looking to do with the impending cold winter. However, looking at their air conditioning units, they did not seemed to be lowered. Though it seems strange, Best Buy is more than just an appliance store and they probably did not feel the same pinch as Home Depot did.

I also asked a member of the Poughkeepsie community John, who was at Best Buy, about how he handled this cooler summer and does he believe that it could lead to a miserable winter, “Last year was a bad winter, hopefully it is not as bad as that, but this summer I did not need a full unit so I just bought a fan. That really did the job.” The cool summer has the people of Poughkeepsie fearing for a cold winter is coming, so to see if their fears could be a reality I went to research the Farmer’s Almanac.

Looking at the Farmer’s Almanac, they believe this winter is going to be colder than normal, “winter will be much colder than normal, with slightly below-normal precipitation and snowfall. The coldest periods will occur in early to mid-December, from late December into early January, and in mid- and late January. The snowiest periods will occur in mid-December and early February.” After the snowy winter that the Northeast experienced last year, should this prediction from the Almanac be taken seriously? Is the Almanac always right or could it be wrong sometimes?

In the recent two season (winter and summer) the Almanac had predicted the winter correctly but the summer absolutely wrong, so could this be another over reaction. The Almanac has a great record of predicting the weather but after being so terribly wrong for the summer months, should the people of Poughkeepsie even think to use it? The phrase better, “Better safe than sorry,” comes to mind but that plays right into the hands of companies like Home Depot. Its weird to think about but the weather has a great affect on business, with the summer coming to a close in a very cold fashion, people’s fear of another harsh winter could be a reality.

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