MIDWEST Chilly weather sweeps down from Canada, disrupts summertime
Jackets and blankets have replaced swimsuits and shorts.
CHICAGO (AP) -- People across the Midwest have been feeling like ice pops instead of eating them this August because of an arctic cold front from Canada.
Early August is usually one of the steamiest times of the year in the upper Midwest, but from Minnesota to Ohio, temperatures have been falling to new daytime lows.
In Cleveland, a light, fall-like wind flowing through downtown Thursday led some commuters to bundle in sweaters or jackets as the sun peeked in and out of clouds.
High temperatures across the state have been in the 60s recently, down from the normal mid-80s, said meteorologist Jeffrey Sites of the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
The temperature in Dayton was only 64 Thursday afternoon, while Cincinnati and Columbus reached 69. Similar cool temperatures are expected until early next week, he said.
Fans going to an evening Cleveland Indians game who normally might expect August heat and humidity instead needed heavy clothes and blankets.
Marissa Gil, 36, of Cleveland said she enjoyed the cooler temperatures and saw a plus side.
"I still go to amusement parks," she said. "No standing in line, dripping with sweat."
In Chicago, Marcia Wierenga, a visitor from Yardley, Pa., wasn't prepared for downtown's weather Thursday -- temperatures remained in the 50s well into the afternoon.
"I think it's kind of frigid," Wierenga said as she waited in line at the Chicago Art Institute next to a friend who sipped a frozen coffee drink. "I'm here on vacation. I packed T-shirts, shorts and tank tops, and I had to go shopping here because it's so ridiculously cold."
At the Heart of the Valley Golf Course in Ada, Minn., the grounds crew had been working in winter jackets this week.
"Some guy came in the other day asking, 'Is it November or August?' and I said, 'I think it might be November,'" clubhouse worker Emily Stene said.
Temperatures are expected to climb back into the low 80s in parts of the Midwest early next week, but even that is somewhat cool for this time of year.
Preston Dinwiddie, who poses as a human statue on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, said he prefers the cooler weather.
"It's better so I don't sweat," Dinwiddie said as he walked to work wearing a silver suit with silver makeup covering all his visible skin.
An aquatic center in East Peoria closed Wednesday and Thursday when temperatures there topped out at 59 degrees.
"Even though the water is warm, as soon as they get out they're going to be cold," said Chris Johnson, front office manager at Splashdown Aquatic Center. "It's not a good day for swimming."
In Minneapolis, Wednesday's high crept to 59 degrees, its lowest recorded high for the date.
Temperatures were pushing 70 degrees Thursday afternoon, but that still wasn't good enough for normal summer outdoor play.
Tom Witry of Minneapolis and his 3-year-old son, Ian, were throwing rocks on the beach at Lake Calhoun, not far from downtown. Witry said they'd normally be swimming.
"If it were 10 degrees warmer, he'd probably have his swimsuit on," Witry said.
Instead, Ian was wearing a turtleneck and red polar fleece sweat pants.