Complaints about rainy weekend at the shore were few and far between the summer, and for good reason.
Some visitors come to South Jersey to spend time on the beaches of Cape May and the boardwalk and beaches of Ocean City, but the downtown business district of each city also benefits from summer influx of tourists.
"Precipitation totals varied up and down the coast, with the driest conditions south of Atlantic City," noted David Robinson, the New Jersey State Climatologist.
That also gave good reason for many people to come down. According to recent Press reporting on September 1, Ocean City and Cape May had more beach tags sold this summer than last summer. Michelle Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce said that Cape May County sent more taxes to Trenton than anybody else.
For the second summer in a row, the final grades for the shore summer report card are released, right as soon as students fill back halls all across South Jersey. When taking into account, in priority order, rainfall, temperatures, cloud cover, humidity and wind, the shore was a good student, earning a B+ on a 3.4 GPA. This beat last year's mark of a B, 3.1 GPA.
Between the jolt of energy Memorial Day Weekend brings (May 24) to the shore and the comfortable warm days usual of Labor Day Weekend (September 2), Atlantic City Marina 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 I-95 corridor wanting some fun in the sun. Philadelphia was in the top third for wettest years since the May 24 to Sept. 2 stretch while Newark was the third wettest in recorded history, which goes back to 1931.
"I liked it for planning day trips. The weather here is totally different," said JoAnn Kennedy, 62, who traveled from Wind Gap, Pennsylvania, part of the Lehigh Valley.
Of course, being the teacher for only weekend weather grades means you need to dig in to the Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday, where the shore fills up the most.
"There weren't any weekend washouts and the holiday weather was also first rate," said Robinson, in a nod to the Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day holidays, which were also a part of the analysis.
There was plenty of warm weather for bathers and visitors to take advantage of. Robinson said that New Jersey had the fifth warmest Climatological Summer, June through August in recorded history, dating back to 1895.
Out of the 15 weekends, five earned a perfect 'A', five earned a 'B+', four earned a 'B'. The worst grade was still a 'C+' and didn't come until the tail end of summer in a viewer poll, from August 23 to 25.
Summer was a good student in the typical tumultuous first few weeks of summer, where the 50 and 60 something water temperatures can easily go onshore and make it sweatshirt weather. Any storms that passed through were brief enough or late enough not to enjoy a day by the boardwalk or water. Temperatures were generally well into the 70s or 80 for highs and 50s and 60s for lows.
The only exception The weekend of June 7, 8 and 9 failed to reach above 72 degrees for a high, but the sunshine and mostly dry weather still was enough to give it a B.
Summer performed best from the weekend of July 12 to August 16. During a six weekend stretch, 4 As were given out, with only one of those weekend days seeing rainfall at both Atlantic City Marina and Cape May.
The Steel Pier in Atlantic City (how did they think summer went), also in their first full summer of having Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort opened up.
The shore will say goodbye to many visitors and second home owners as the warm September fades into the crisp and cool October days.
Atlantic City has made progress in recent years to diversify its offerings.
"Bless their safe travel home and they are welcome back anytime," Dave Leopold, of Margate, said.
With events dotting the shoreline during the month, many will come back to enjoy "Local's Summer". And, with another passing grade next summer, another successful summer will be on track for the start of the new decade.