OTTUMWA — This is summer? You’re sure?
Ottumwa hasn’t just seen temperatures dip below normal. In records dating back to 1894, it has never been this cold. Temperatures at this time of year should fall no lower than the mid-60s overnight, but the past three nights have seen it drop into the 40s.
The result: Three consecutive record lows. Saturday and Monday both saw an overnight low of 49. Sunday was a bit colder, dipping down to 48.
The cold temperatures have an effect on The Beach in Ottumwa. The big draw during the summer months is the outdoor swimming, but that’s not available when the temperatures drop too low.
“When we have cold weather, we do indoor swimming only,” Gene Rathje, parks director, said.
Weather shifts over the summer aren’t uncommon. While this period has been unusual in that it has set several records, unseasonably cool or hot stretches hit just about every summer. So it’s hard to say just how significant the past several days will wind up being for The Beach’s totals.
And Rathje is looking ahead. Forecasters say temperatures will be back in the 80s by midweek.
“It’s going to affect our attendance for about four days,” Rathje said.