All Weather News

8 Vacation Destinations to Beat the Heat

21 Jul 2014, 5:37 pm

When most people think of vacations, they have visions of a topical islands with white sand beaches and emerald green waters. That’s well and good, of course, but “tropical” is just another word for hot humid. And if you’re one of the millions of Americans giving your favorite meteorologist the side-eye, because the relentless heat just.won’t.end — here’s a list of places that could offer you a taste of fall during the dog days of summer:

1) San Francisco

SanFran_Flickr_Don McCullough
Photo Credit: Don McCullough/Flickr

San Francisco is a pretty cool place and I’m not just talking about street cars and all the new technology developed in the region. Meteorologically, San Francisco stays pretty cool and even-keeled all year long, which makes it a nice escape from the summertime heat that plagues other parts of the country. So why does the City by the Bay stay so cool all summer long? Well, it has to do with its proximity to the Pacific Ocean and more specifically, it has to do with the city’s closeness to the California Current. The California Current brings cool water from the north and that cooler water helps to keep San Fran pleasant through the summer. Here are some summer stats:

Average summer highs: Between 69-73°F

Hottest summer high temperature ever recorded: 103° on Sept. 14, 1971

Coolest summer low temperature ever recorded: 44° on July 29, 1951

2) Seattle

Seattle_Bala Sivakumar_Flickr
Photo Credit: Bala Sivakumar/Flickr

Oh Seattle…The birthplace of $8 lattes, grunge music and wearing a light jacket in the middle of summer. Seattle gets a bad wrap for being a rainy, cool mess all year long, but this time of year is Seattle’s dry season. Meaning there are mild temperatures and partly sunny skies abound. So, why is Seattle so temperate this time of year? Partly because of it’s latitudinal position and the fact that it sits on the Puget Sound. Since water heats up much more slowly than land, it has a cooling effect (during the summer) on the local climate.

Which is why summertime highs in Seattle stay in 71-77° range. The temperatures are so stable in the Seattle/Tacoma area that only 13 percent of homes have central air conditioning. That’s not to say that it can’t get exceedingly hot in the Pacific Northwest, that hottest day ever recorded in Seattle was 103° in July 24, 2001.

3) Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine
Photo Credit: Golden State Hiker/Flickr

Portland sits on the idyllic, picturesque Maine coast. A quintessential seaside New England town with mild summers, Portland residents love to spend their summers on the Atlantic Ocean — fishing and sailing. And with average summer temperatures staying between 77 and 83°, outdoor activities are a blast all season long.

There are some pretty extreme summer temperature records for the Portland, Maine area as well. On July 4, 1911 temperatures soared to 102°, setting the city’s all-time high temperature. And on Sept. 16, 1964 Canadian air dropped temperatures down to 28 degrees for a morning low.

4) Burlington, Vt.

Photo Credit: RedJar/Flickr

Burlington may be the birthplace of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream — a favorite treat for millions of people dealing with sweltering summer heat — but it’s not often that it gets face-melting hot in northern Vermont. Situates on the shore of Lake Champlain, Burlington boasts average high temperatures, in the summer, between 68 and 81°.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Burlington was 101° on August 11, 1944. But it’s rare for Burlington to get that hot, which makes the Vermont’s largest city a great place to visit to escape the heat further south.

5) Marquette, Mich.

MaquetteMI_Greg Casperson_Flickr
Photo Credit: Greg Casperson/Flickr

Marquette is a small town of just over 21,000 located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — a strip of land sandwiched between Lake Superior to the north, Lake Michigan to the south and Lake Huron to the East. The U.P. is know for huge amounts of lake-effect snowfall in the winter, but it’s also known for pleasant, mild summers too. The average high temperature in Marquette is between 64 and 77° during the summer months, which is perfect for a quite evening in this quite town.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Marquette was 108°! That Death Valley-like temperature was recorded way back on July 15, 1901.

6) Duluth, Minn.

DuluthMN_Randen Pederson_Flickr
Photo Credit: Randen Pederson/Flickr

Duluth, Minn. is located at the far southern tip of Lake Superior. Duluth, known for brutal winters, has surprisingly nice summers. The average high, during this time of year, can range from 64° in later summer to 77° in mid-mid summer. The all time record high in Duluth was set on July 13, 1936 when the city topped out at 106°.

7) Lake Tahoe, Calif.

LakeTahoe_Matt Mechtley_Flickr
Photo Credit: Matt Mechtley/Flickr

A lot of people know Lake Tahoe as a haven for skiers during the winter, but it’s also a great place to enjoy milder temperatures and excellent hiking during the summer months. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains — along the California/Nevada border — Tahoe’s elevation helps to keep it cool while other parts of the country deal with blistering heat. From June to September, highs range from 72 to 82°. LAke Tahoe hasn’t ever passed 100° either. Since record keeping began, Tahoe has only pushed up to 99° — in July 1988.

8) Lake Louise, Alberta (Canada)

Lake LouiseAB_Frank Kovalchek_Flickr
Photo Credit: Frank Kovalchek/Flickr

The only non-U.S. destination to make the list was Canada’s Lake Louise, famed for it’s crystalline waters set against the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. According to Environment Canada — the equivalent of the National Weather Service in the U.S. — Lake Louise’s summer highs stay between 58 and 69°. The all time record high was set on July 16, 1941 when the mercury rocketed to 93° (that’s hot for that part of North America).

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