Flash flood warnings, tornado alerts, heat advisories, and of course, rain, rain, and more rain. Hey, whoever’s in charge here, we’d like a refund, please. We were promised Hot Vax Summer, but instead, we’re getting a soggy slap in the face.
Couples who postponed their weddings because of COVID find themselves dashing to the church amid downpours. Families gathered for overdue summer reunions are enjoying more together time than they bargained for. Restaurateurs eager to make an extra buck on outdoor dining are chasing runaway umbrellas.
In Wilmington, Nancy Trager wanted her above-ground pool installed in time for an end-of-the-school-year party. “But the landscapers have told us that the earth is too soft and their machines will get stuck in the mud,” she said.
On Nantucket, the winds whipping across the tennis courts are messing with Brendan Clancy’s serve. “You don’t know where your toss is going to end up,” he said.
In Natick, the rain killed Jessica Robinson’s plans for a North End pizza tour. “We were going to stop at Mike’s for a cannoli,” she said wistfully.
How bad is it? There are two ways to answer the question. One is with actual weather statistics. June broke records because it was so hot. This has been the third wettest July ever recorded in Boston, and the month is not even half over. August was the muggiest the universe has ever seen. Oh, wait, August hasn’t happened yet. But just wait.
The other way to measure the lousy weather is to observe our plummeting expectations. On the radio, anchors sound downright cheery when they report what would typically be a disappointing forecast. “Rain to start but just clouds later!” they chirp. People have started saying things like, “At least we’re not in a drought,” or, “the West is even worse off.”
Ashley Daige, an aromatherapist from Leicester — who had one moment of good weather during a weekend-long essentially blind date with a friend of a friend from Indiana — is cherishing a selfie in front of a rainbow, snapped for the two minutes the sun came out.
The moment was so special she’s not even sharing it on social media. “The rainbow was like a reward for patiently waiting out the three days of rain,” she said.
The rain has turned Avi Shemtov the owner of multiple food, beer, and barbecue trucks, into an amateur meteorologist, trying to educate himself on what, exactly, a 30 percent or 70 percent chance of rain means, and whether it’s worth it to activate his staff.
“The problem is if you don’t get it right, and all of a sudden it’s beautiful out, you’re almost as screwed,” he said.
On Cape Cod, people are not in the mood to be good sports, said Annie Blatz, president of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of Realtors. “Our assessment is that after the year of quarantine, people are short on patience. Visitors get grumpy when the weather does not cooperate,” she said.
“My rental agents tell me that the wet weather has brought a rash of insect reports. My Brewster office had five bug complaints in the past three days.”
This weather is bad for our spirits, our camping trips, our painters.
“This is supposed to be our busy season,” said Jennifer MacNeil, co-owner of Quincy-based Flawless Finish Painting & Pressure Washing. “We can’t sand or paint in the rain. We can’t even do it within 24 hours of it being wet.”
As is so often the case in life, a tough situation is that much harder on people with pre-existing challenges, in this case, children battling weight issues, said Lori Fishman, a child psychologist who works in a weight management program at Boston Children’s Hospital.
“Most families ‘wait’ until summer in the hopes that their kids will be more active and get in better shape/health during this time,” she said in an e-mail to the Globe. “The rain has made it just like the pandemic — where kids are sitting on screens all day at home and indoors.”
But the wet weather, it should be noted, is not disappointing everyone. “We’re noticing that our cannabis dispensaries in Plymouth and Mashpee are experiencing significant upticks in sales this summer as people are looking for something recreational to do at home,” said Sheila Fey, a marketing specialist at Triple M. “It enhances your game night.”
Welcome to High Vax Summer.