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      Is this the summer of flannel?

      If you're a beach bum, it might seem like those nice days haven't been piling up like they should. Some days, local lifeguards seem to spend more time trying to keep warm than anything else.

      Melissa McCraren works as a lifeguard at McCartyâ??s Cove, in Marquette. She told us conditions on Lake Superior have been pretty gloomy all summer. "I'd say about half of the summer we've closed. So just due to really cold days, when it's been in the low 50s or when it's raining like this," she confided.

      While areas near Lake Superior have been cool all year, most of the inland locations have managed more ideal weather. Farther away from the cooling influence of the Big Lake, daytime highs have been considerably warmer. Still, the official statistics from the National Weather Service in Negaunee Township might be deceiving. Average temperatures during both May and June actually landed slightly above normal. That's because we had a handful of unusually warm days to balance out all those cool days.

      Conversely, July finished up about three and a half degrees below average. That means July, 2014 will go down among the top ten coolest Julys on record for many spots in Upper Michigan!

      Despite the dreary weather, Upper Michigan has sailed by with what could be called benign weather when compared to the rest of the country. We're not hurting for rain. In fact we're still running with more than a three inch rainfall surplus on the year! And we've only a handful of severe weather days.

      National Weather Service Meteorologist, Todd Kluber keeps a close eye on the potential for severe storms. "It's been very quiet up here. Most of that has been attributed to the cooler temperatures. We haven't had as much instability in the environment to get stronger storms going," he said.

      That leaves us wondering, what will the dog days of summer have in store?

      "August is always a tricky month because we're not quite into the transition into the fall season yet. We still have a lot of summer left during the month of August. For now temperatures look pretty close to average. Thereâ??s just a slight chance of below average temperatures through the rest of the month," according to Kluber.

      In the meantime, local lifeguards are making the most of the grey days in case you get the courage to actually visit the beach. Melissa McCraren assured us she intends to keep watchful eye on the waters around McCaryâ??s cove until the weather turns unsafe. "On days like this we'll probably close the beach around one maybe two or three oâ??clock at the latest. Otherwise, we're still open for the majority of the day," she pledged.