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Can we expect late-June’s heat to continue?

Eastern Manitoba missed out on most of the large-scale rain events we saw last month

We’ve been stuck in a weather pattern that has been giving us colder-than-average temperatures since last January and this pattern really didn’t break down in June. We continued to see upper lows getting blocked over either northern Manitoba or Hudson Bay, with only a couple of short periods where this pattern broke down.

June saw some unusually cold weather across much of Manitoba and parts of Saskatchewan early in the month, with several locations reporting frost as late as June 2 with another close call on June 12. In between these two dates we saw some heat as temperatures topped out in the low to mid-30s across both Manitoba and Saskatchewan on June 6 and 7.

After that, the Prairies were pushed back into the cool pattern we’ve been stuck in, with daytime highs ranging between 16 and 23 C on most days and overnight lows that dropped down into the upper single digits to low teens on a warm night. These cooler-than-average temperatures continued until the last week or so of June when “summer” heat moved back in, bringing above-average temperatures to end the month. When all the temperature numbers were added up and averaged out, it turned out Manitoba’s mean monthly temperature for June was about 0.5 C above the long-term average.

Moving to the west, Saskatchewan was a little cooler, relatively speaking, than Manitoba. Both Regina and Saskatoon reported mean June temperatures that were about 0.3 C above their long-term averages. Continuing westward, in Alberta, temperatures continued to cool as mean June temperatures came in below their long-term averages. Both the Edmonton and Peace regions came in around 0.2 C below average, with the Calgary region being the cold spot at 0.7 C below average.

Precipitation across the Prairies was a different story. The month began dry, but several upper-level lows brought rounds of significant rains to both Alberta and Saskatchewan, with Manitoba only seeing some of this rain. In Alberta, the Calgary region was the wet spot, with around 115 mm of rain. Farther north, Edmonton reported about 80 mm. The Peace region was the dry spot in Alberta, recording about 50 mm of rainfall, about 15 mm below average.

Moving into Saskatchewan, both Saskatoon and Regina reported above-average rainfall in June. Saskatoon reported about 85 mm, while Regina reported about 75 mm. This “wet” pattern continued into western Manitoba with Brandon reporting about 75 mm of rain, about five mm below average. Dauphin was a little drier, with about 65 mm, or about 15 mm below average. Over parts of eastern Manitoba, it was a much different story. This region missed out on most of the large-scale rain events, with thunderstorms bringing most of the rainfall. Some areas saw significant rain, but overall, most were dry. Winnipeg reported only 25 mm during the month, which is 65 mm below average.

Who called it?

Overall, June saw near- to slightly below-average temperatures with near- to above-average precipitation, except over eastern regions of Manitoba and the Peace region of Alberta. Looking back at the different forecasts, it looks like both almanacs were pretty close, with calls for near- to slightly above-average temperatures and precipitation. I think the overall winner is the CFS model that called for a warm start to June, followed by a cool middle of the month, with warm weather moving back in by the latter half of the month.

Now let’s look ahead to see if we can expect a nice typical summer. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, July will see slightly warmer-than-average temperatures with August coming in slightly below average. Precipitation for both months is predicted to be a little higher than average. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac appears to call for near- to slightly above-average temperatures as it mentions warm and very warm a few times along with a couple of cool periods. Precipitation looks to be near average. August’s prediction is for a warm start with a cool end to the month. It mentions several chances for thunderstorms and heavy rain, which I guess equates to above-average rainfall.

Moving on to Environment Canada and the CanSIPS model. This weather model calls for above-average temperatures over western regions with near-average temperatures across eastern regions in both July and August. It also calls for near- to slightly above-average amounts of rainfall. The next weather model is the CFS, which currently calls for cooler-than-average temperatures during the first half of July followed by above-average temperatures during the second half of the month. August’s forecast calls for near-average temperatures across extreme southern regions with above-average temperatures as you go northward. Its precipitation forecast calls for near- to slightly above-average amounts across all regions.

Finally, my forecast: I’m going to stick with a “status quo” forecast as I still don’t see any signs of a significant shift in the overall pattern. This will mean near-average temperatures in both July and August with near- to slightly above-average amounts of precipitation as the thunderstorm threat increases with the heat of summer.

About the author

Co-operator contributor

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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