Norwich Bulletin

Another nice quote today in an article from the Norwich Bulletin. It is attached to the link below.

As rain fell across the region on Thursday, office workers at Mystic & More tourism district were putting the finishing touches on an ark, executive director Vivian Stanley joked.

The month started in much the same way last month did — wet.

“People are so tired of the rain,” Stanley said.

The wet weather has put a damper on some summer plans, and tourism officials like Stanley are keeping an eye toward the sky, hoping that the fall will bring drier weather.

“The fall is at this point almost as important to us as the summer,” Stanley said.

Eastern Connecticut is particularly dependent on the weather to attract tourists and boost what has been a somewhat lackluster summer season.

Connecticut typically averages about 10.5 inches from June through August. But over the past three months, the region saw as much as 18 inches, according to readings at the Northeast Regional Climate Center’s weather station in Norwich.

Weathermen say the good news is that the five-day forecast shows partial sunshine and the weekend outlook is sunny. And it looks as though the worst effects of Hurricane Fabian, still hundreds of miles offshore, will be missed.

But what will the fall bring?

WTNH meteorologist Geoff Fox said there is little benefit to trying to predict what an entire season will be like.

“First, I don’t think accuracy is that great. Second, and maybe more importantly, people don’t live by the season,” Fox said. “They live day to day.”

Fox said even statistically normal seasons can have a month of drenching rain followed by a month of dry weather, balancing out in the end. What people will likely remember is whether their plans were spoiled by bad weather, he said.

Long-range forecasts for the fall this year are neutral, or normal, Fox said.

“That’s something we haven’t experienced for about a year,” he said.

Last September was the warmest in the Northeast since 1961, with an average temperature of 64 degrees, or 3.8 degrees above normal.

In Mystic, what some consider the epicenter of state tourism, Mystic Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linnea Lindstrom said weekends in the fall are often as busy as weekdays in the summer, boosted by casino patrons looking for some fresh air.

“Fall can with make to break numbers from the summer,” she said. “Our numbers are down. Weather has a lot to do with it.”

The fall typically brings the “leaf peepers” and international visitors looking for some New England flavor. With children back in a school, it also is the time that visitors go on vacation, rain or not.

Norwich tourism spokesperson Jacquie Barbarossa said September in Norwich is one of the busiest months of the year, and the biggest for area hotels.

Saturday’s Italian Festival and this month’s Historic Norwichtown Days and Greek Festival are among some of the events planned.

“You have to just prepare for the rain,” Barbarossa said. “Keep your fingers crossed and pray for good weather.”

The Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor’s thirteenth annual “Walking Weekend” will extend over seven days this year this year. The Walking Weekend, held the second and this weekends of October, coincide with the peak of fall foliage season, according to Michelle Bourgeois, executive director of the Northeast Visitor’s District.

Originally published Friday, September 5, 2003

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