Friday, July 31, 2015

Almost August

TigerBlog loves a good thunderstorm.

He's not ready to say that one that blew through yesterday afternoon was all that good. It had two big claps of thunder and about 30 seconds of rain.

You call that a thunderstorm?

It certainly looked like it was going to be bad. As TB looked out his window, he could see the sky above Princeton Stadium turn darker and darker. Then there was a flash. He figured it was about to start.

Then, just like that, it was over. There was a kid running sprints on Weaver track who never even paused his workout. About 10 minutes later, the heavens opened for real. For about 45 more seconds. Then it stopped again.

And the kid was still on the track, still doing his workout. Now that's dedication.

The skies started to brighten, but the rain came back anyway. There might have been one more clap of thunder. That's about it.

This was hardly one of those middle-of-the-night t-storms, the kind where the lightning lights up the night sky through the window shades and gets you to cringe as you wait for the accompanying thunder. Now that's a thunderstorm.

It's been a fairly dry few weeks around here, even in the heart of thunderstorm season. TigerBlog has lived his entire life in about a 50-mile radius of where his desk is, so he's used to the humid July's and August's around here, with the frequent summer thunderstorms.

TigerBlog started to wonder which U.S. cities had the most thunderstorms, or which region of the country. He would not have gotten the correct answer.

Any guesses? TB will give you a few paragraphs.

TigerBlog remembers one of the first summers he spent in Jadwin Gym, when it seemed like there was a thunderstorm every afternoon. They got to be so commonplace that each member of the staff of the Office of Athletic Communications started writing on the board a predicted time for that day's storm.

It was incredibly humid yesterday.  Like, "walk outside and start sweating and your clothes stick to you" humid.

This is how the weather is in Central Jersey this time of year. Always is.

Ah, but it is not the stormiest part of the country. TigerBlog would have guessed the Southeast, and he would have been right. The nine cities with the most thunderstorms per year are all in the Southeast.

Actually, the 10th - Kansas City - is in a state that is in the Southeast Conference. At least TB thinks Missouri is in the SEC.

And the top city for thunderstorms? It's Tampa, of all places, with 82 days of thunderstorms per year.

Today is the last day of July. Tomorrow begins the rather odd month of August.

If you thought it was humid this week, wait until August.

TigerBlog loves the summer and the warm weather, but it starts to get a little old in August. There will be way more hot, sticky, humid days than not. The NFL preseason will drag along. So will baseball.

And yet, before August ends, Princeton Athletics will have started up again. Granted, there are only two events in August, and both are in women's soccer - the opener at home against Howard Aug. 28 and then a game at Fordham two days later.

That first game is four weeks from today.

This is about the time each year when time really starts to fly. It'll seem like a blink of an eye and August will have zoomed along, and it'll be back to the business of actual athletic events.

This year, of course, is Year 1 for Sean Driscoll as Princeton's head women's soccer coach. His team figures to be led by junior Tyler Lussi, the 2014 Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

Lussi has 28 career goals, and if she matches last year's total of 18, that would leave her with 46, or one off the Princeton career record, held by Esmeralda Negron. No Princeton soccer player, male or female, has ever scored more than Esmeralda here.

Lussi is actually tied for fifth already, with Lauren Lazo, after just two seasons. Ahead of her at Negron, Linda DeBoer (41), Emily Behncke (39) and Jen Hoy (36).

Lussi's chase of the school record is one of the storylines for the fall of 2015. And 2016, for that matter.

There will be plenty of others.

And they'll be starting soon. Four weeks from today, actually.

So enjoy another summer Friday and another summer weekend.

There aren't that many left. 

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