Warm summer could lead to big summer at The Waterpark


Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation is opened its Monon Community Center pool on May 28, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Parks Director Mark Westermeier said marketing efforts have been successful for the Waterpark the past few years so the best way to try and estimate attendance this summer is to look at the weather.

Although most people don’t look much further than a five-day weather forecast, there are national researchers who make predictions for an entire season. For the summer of 2016, The Weather Company is predicting warm weather from June to August for much of the United States a as a transition into La Niña conditions are expected.

“The historically strong El Niño event is weakening rapidly and we should transition into La Niña conditions by summer and model guidance shows a rather dramatic reversal of the background tropical Pacific forcing signal that would favor a hot summer again, especially across the northern U.S.,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist at The Weather Company’s Energy division said in a report released on March 18. “There is a historically large amount of background global warmth around that will likely skew all temperatures toward the warmer side for the next few months.”

Westermeier said he’s read and heard that the summer could be similar to Carmel’s summer of 2012, which was dry. That year, attendance soared at the Monon Community Center. Last year, Westermeier said the record rainfall in summer 2015 led to decreases in attendance, but he said successful marketing efforts kept the dry days very busy.

“Last year we thought was going to be our worst year but it turned around and it wasn’t,” he said. “We’re hoping for 90s and no rain every day.”

Westermeier said the Central Park West Commons Playground and Splashpad, which had been expected to open around the beginning of June, will instead be opening around July 1. He said weather delayed construction and that the playground will be “unlike anything in the area.” It will feature a splash pad, picnic shelters, outdoor classroom/sitting area overlooking the lagoon, open meadow for recreational activities, pathway providing direct access to the lagoon and boardwalk, restrooms, and a parking lot to support these new features.

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