Resorts Beach Ball Drop

Five thousand beach balls are dropped to the Atlantic City Boardwalk in front of Resorts Casino Hotel to a large crowd eager to scoop up as many balls as they could at this annual Memorial Day weekend event.

Complaints about rainy weekends at the shore were few and far between this summer, and for good reason.

“Precipitation totals varied up and down the coast, with the driest conditions south of Atlantic City,” said David Robinson, the New Jersey state climatologist.

That also gave good reason for many people to come down. According to recent Press reporting, Ocean City and Cape May sold more beach tags this summer than last. Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, said Cape May County sent more taxes to Trenton than anywhere else.

When taking into account, in priority order, rainfall, temperatures, cloud cover, humidity and wind, the shore was a good student this summer, earning a B+, or a 3.4 GPA. This beat last year’s mark of a B, or a 3.1 GPA.

Between the jolt of energy Memorial Day weekend brings (May 24) to the shore and the comfortably warm days typical of Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2), Sen. Frank S. Farley State Marina in Atlantic City saw 9.52 inches of rain, below the average of 10.85 and good enough to place it in the bottom third of years, which go back to 1874. Cape May was above average in rainfall and rankings, at 14.27 inches.

However, southeastern New Jersey was a haven for those along the Interstate 95 corridor wanting some fun in the sun. Philadelphia was in the top third for wettest years in the May 24 to Sept. 2 stretch while Newark was the third wettest in recorded history, which dates to 1931.

“I liked it for planning day trips. The weather here is totally different,” said JoAnn Kennedy, 62, who traveled to the shore from Wind Gap, Pennsylvania.

There was plenty of warm weather for bathers and visitors. Robinson said New Jersey had the fifth warmest climatological summer, June through August, in recorded history, which dates to 1895.

Out of the 15 weekends, five earned a perfect A, five earned a B+ and four earned a B. The worst grade was a C+ and didn’t come until the tail end of summer, from Aug. 23 to 25.

Summer was a good student in the typically tumultuous first few weeks of summer, where 50 to 60 degree water temperatures can easily go onshore and make it sweater weather. Any storms that passed through were brief enough or late enough not to ruin a day by the boardwalk or water. Temperatures were generally well into the 70s and 80s for highs and 50s and 60s for lows.

The only exception was the weekend of June 7, 8 and 9, which failed to reach above 72 degrees, but the sunshine and mostly dry weather still was enough to give it a B.

Summer performed best from July 12 to Aug. 16. During a six-weekend stretch, four A’s were given out, with only one of those weekend days seeing rain in Atlantic City and Cape May.

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