The weather page is prepared by Daniel Bezte. Dan has a BA Honours degree in geography, specializing in climatology, from the U of W. He has taught climate and weather classes at the U of W, and is a guest climate expert on CJOB’s morning show with Larry Updike. Daniel runs a computerized weather station on his 10 acres near Birds Hill Park, which he plans to develop into a small vegetable and fruit hobby farm.
Daniel welcomes questions and comments at [email protected]
Ithink one of the questions people are asking about this summer’s weather is, did we simply skip summer and go from a bad spring into a bad fall, or are we still trying to shake off a cool and never-ending spring?
Well, if I had the answer to that I would be rich. Part of the problem myself and (I believe) other forecasters are having, is that we just don’t want to believe what the models are showing us week after week. Another problem is that we are now entering new territory – eight months in a row with below-average temperatures. Long-range weather models often work by comparing current weather patterns with past weather patterns that were similar. They then look at what those years were like, and come up with a prediction of what might lay ahead for us. When you get into a recorded breaking pattern these models have nothing to compare it to.
I have been saying it for a couple of months now, that statistically, we should be breaking out of this cold weather funk and moving into a warm period, but as each month passes by it keeps proving me wrong. That is the beautiful thing about statistics, there might be a 50-50 chance of flipping a coin and getting heads, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t flip eight heads in a row!
Will the weather pattern switch to above normal? Yes it will. Will it be in the next couple of weeks or will we have to wait for a ninth month in a row of below-normal temperatures – who really knows? If I had to make a call I would say that we will start to see a shift in the weather pattern over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully this switch will be of a more permanent nature and August will end up being nice and warm, but to tell the truth, I’m not ready to put any money on it – not yet anyways.
If you remember my little blurb at the beginning of last week’s article was about how global warming is just that, global, and not just Western Canada. Well, this week I came across the map of June global temperature anomalies and they seem to agree with what I was saying. Global temperatures in June were the second warmest on record. If you look at the additional map I have included this week, you can see that most of the globe is covered with red dots. The dots depict whether temperatures this June were warmer than average (red dot) or colder than average (blue dot). The bigger the dot, the further away from average the temperature was.
As you can see on the map, most of the globe is covered in red dots with only a few areas having blue dots. Unfortunately for us, we are in one of the two largest areas of below-average temperatures on our planet! I don’t know if that makes our cold weather any easier to swallow, but at least we are not alone in our suffering.
If we look at how the numbers add up globally we find that June was only 0.02C below the warmest June ever recorded. Average sea surface temperatures in June were the warmest ever recorded at 0.59C above the 20th century average.
So yes we have been cold, and soon we will have broken a record for the greatest number of months in a row with below-average temperatures. But take heart, the weather will change; we will see a prolonged period of above-average temperatures. I don’t know if I will go as far as putting my reputation on it, but I think from August into the fall we will see some of the nicest weather we have seen during that period in a long time.