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One warm July across the province

As I write this article it is almost the end of the month, and even though I don’t have the final numbers yet, I’m pretty sure I can come pretty close based on the forecast for the last couple of days this month. So here we go with our monthly look back at the weather and then our look ahead to see what might be in store of us in August.

Depending on where you live, July 2012 was either warm and dry or warm and wet. A persistent ridge of high pressure that brought near-record-setting warm temperatures to much of the central U.S. during July, also brought some really warm July temperatures to Manitoba. Luckily for us, the southern ridge of high pressure stayed pretty much to our south. So while we were consistently warm during July we were pretty much able to avoid the record-setting heat. Let’s hope that keeps up for August.

When all the numbers were added up, pretty much every location came in with a mean monthly temperature that was either above average or well-above average. Central and eastern areas really saw the heat during July, with Winnipeg recording an average monthly high temperature of 29.1 C. The last time we saw this was back in 2006 and before that it was in 1936.

The mean monthly temperature in Winnipeg during July came in around 22.2 C, which was last seen in July of 1983. The only warmer July occurred in 1936 when the mean monthly temperature was 24.2 C. The 22.2 C mean monthly temperature was a good 2.7 C above the long-term average for the month. Winnipeg also recorded 14 days with a high temperature above 30 C. That’s nearly half the month! It was also very dry in central and eastern Manitoba during July. Winnipeg only recorded around 22 mm during the month, a far cry from the long-term average of 71 mm.

Farther west it was much wetter and a little cooler. Unfortunately, something happened with Environment Canada’s data from Brandon during July so that station is not useful to us (you would think that this would be a priority for EC but according to its website the data for Brandon has not been available since July 20). So, taking the next closest station with the data being reliably supplied by the Manitoba Agriculture Ag-Weather Program, we find that Virden recorded a mean monthly high temperature of about 28 C with a mean monthly temperature of about 21 C. While this was cooler than what was seen in Winnipeg it was still a good 2 C above the long-term average for that region.

The big difference between the eastern and western parts of Manitoba was the rainfall during July. Eastern regions were stuck under the influence of the southern ridge of high pressure, while western regions were just far enough away from that ridge to allow plenty of thunderstorms to push in from Saskatchewan. While not all regions received above-average amounts of rain during July, a number of places did.

So who was able to call it right? Looking back it would appear that everyone had it partly right. If I had to go with just one forecast then I would have to give myself the nod with a call for above-average temperatures with below-average rainfall — except for the regions that experienced severe thunderstorms.

Now on to August. According to Environment Canada, it is going to be a hot and dry month. Over at the Old Farmer’s Almanac they are agreeing on the hot temperatures, but they are going with above-average amounts of rainfall. The Canadian Farmers Almanac seems to be calling for near-average temperatures as they mention fair several times. It would also appear that they are calling for near- to below-average amounts of rainfall as they only mention storms once and showers a couple of times.

Finally, here at the Co-operator, I am calling for slightly above-average temperatures. We will see a warm start to the month with a gradual switch to cooler temperatures as the month progresses. Precipitation will also be near average as storm systems affect the region when the cooler weather starts to move in.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

Daniel Bezte

Daniel Bezte is a teacher by profession with a BA (Hon.) in geography, specializing in climatology, from the U of W. He operates a computerized weather station near Birds Hill Park.

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