TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan's roller coaster-weather continues.
After a cool start to the week, temperatures around Traverse City are expected to climb again into the 90s by Thursday, continuing an unusually warm start to the summer season.
"In an average June, normally we would have about two days that hit 90 or higher," said Scott Rosanski, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Gaylord. "(Traverse City) averages about eight 90-degree days a year. Assuming on Thursday you hit 90 — and I'm not sure why that wouldn't happen --that would be six this month."
Hot weather means cold cash for area businesses that count on warm temperatures and clear skies — but there can be too much of a good thing.
"We see a lot people, but not during the sun-beating-down, scorching 90-degree days," said Stephanie Popp, assistant manager at the Dairy Lodge ice cream shop. "Those days, I think people tend to stay home. Nobody wants to stand in line and wait."
Once the sun settles on the western horizon, however, ice-cream lovers flock to the Randolph and Division Street location.
"We're not really busy during the day, but in the evening, it's like people are coming out of the sidewalk or something," Popp said.
Once temperatures build past 90, timing is everything for those who like to play outdoors. At Elmbrook Golf Course, that means morning and evening tee times are booked faster when a hot sun is expected to beat down.
"All in all, it really affects the afternoon golfers more than the mornings," said Dennis Sternburgh, who manages the East Bay Township golf course. "In the mornings, our numbers are pretty stable regardless of weather. But from noon to three, that's when it can get a little quiet around here."
Still, Sternburgh said he has no reason to complain about the weather. The unusual heat wave at the tail end of winter moved their opening day up nearly a month to March 15.
"It's been great. The weather as a whole has been better than it's ever been before," he said. "It's been a great start to the season."
Meanwhile, air conditioners are flying off the shelves at local appliance shops.
"We have sold a lot. We had to reorder already," said Jeff Owens, manager at Max's Service in downtown Traverse City. "That's rare. We usually don't have to do that until mid-to-late July."
Steamy temperatures can also wreak havoc on major appliances like refrigerators. Max's has seen an uptick in the number of service calls to fix iceboxes overwhelmed by the heat.
"Heat makes it run excessively. It's affected by the surroundings, especially when you don't have an air conditioner," Owens said. "It creates more sales, but it's more miserable for our service and delivery guys to do their jobs. But who can complain? It's not winter."
The National Weather Service's Rosanski said wild temperature fluctuations are not uncommon in northern Michigan, which is trapped between a hot south and cool Canada at the start of summer. Temperatures on Friday will dip back into the low-to-mid 80s and stay there into next week.
"We have the effects of summer taking over in deep south, while at the same time winter doesn't want to let go in the north," he said. "It's actually nice. Just about when 90 is really getting on people's nerves, it starts to cool off."
Warm weather returning after cool start to week
TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan's roller coaster-weather continues.
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