Sacramento’s lack of rain helps season for downtown ice rink

The lack of rain has been great for business at the Sacramento Downtown Plaza Ice Rink, which closed for the season Monday night.

“We had a better turnout this year due to no rain,” said Michael Doak, general manager for the ice rink, which opened Nov. 8.

“We had a better outcome. We’re able to stay open instead of closing.”

Monday, about 500 people showed up for the last day of the rink, according to Doak.

Monday also marked the 44th consecutive day without any moisture in Sacramento, matching the old record set in 1976.

Downtown Sacramento saw record-breaking temperatures Monday, with a high of 71 degrees, breaking the old record of 69 degrees set in 1976.

However, the low Monday night was expected to drop to 36 degrees, about 5 degrees below normal.

“We’re running 10 to 15 degrees above normal for the highs and 4 to 5 degrees below normal low temperatures,” said Karl Swanberg, forecast meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

While the days have been unseasonably warm and the nights still quite cold, skaters kept strapping on their blades and twirling around the ice rink.

“We pick up more at nighttime,” said Doak. “We get bigger crowds.”

Lows so far this month have been in the mid-30s, well below the normal 41 degrees for this time of year.

The rest of the week will see near-record temperatures during the day, and below-normal lows at night.

The high today is expected to reach 68 degrees, just 2 degrees shy of the record set in 1976. The low will be 36 degrees.

Wednesday will likely see the record of 69 degrees, set in 2011, broken.

The forecast calls for daytime temperatures to reach 70 that day. But it will be a chilly 37 degrees at night.

“We might see some clouds, but we do not see anything through Monday, even for the Sierras,” said Swanberg.