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Bezte: Cool summer, cool fall?

Another month has come and gone and in the weather world, summer is slowly coming to an end. That means it’s time to take a look back at the weather over the past month and to summarize what the three key summer months brought us, weather-wise, across the Prairies. Then, as usual, we’ll take our first look at what the weather models predict for this fall and winter.

What kind of weather did August bring us this year? Starting in the east, agricultural regions of Manitoba saw temperatures that came in near to just slightly below average across eastern regions, falling to just a little below average as you move into western regions. The Winnipeg area saw a mean monthly temperature of around 18.5 C, about 0.3 C below average. Over western regions of Manitoba, both the Brandon and Dauphin regions reported a mean monthly temperature of about 17 C, which was about 0.8 C below average. Precipitation in August was near average in the Brandon region and slightly below average in the Winnipeg and Dauphin regions.

Moving into Saskatchewan, Saskatoon was the Prairies’ cold spot, at least compared to average. Saskatoon reported a mean monthly temperature of around 15.7 C, nearly 2 C below the long-term average. Farther south in Regina, it was a little warmer, but still colder than average. Regina reported a mean monthly temperature of 16.8 C, about 1.2 C below average. Rainfall in August was below average in Saskatoon, but well above average in Regina.

Alberta ended up being a blend of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In the south, the Calgary region reported a mean monthly temperature of 15.8 C, right around average. Moving northward into the Edmonton region, it got a little cooler. Edmonton reported a mean monthly August temperature of 14.3 C, which was about 1 C below average. Finally, the Peace region ended up being the cold spot. This region reported a mean monthly temperature of 13.3 C, which was about 1.5 C below average. Rainfall during the month followed a similar pattern, with the Calgary regions seeing below-average amounts, Edmonton near average, and Peace River a little above average.

Who called it?

To summarize the month, for most regions, August saw below-average temperatures, and western and central regions saw above-average precipitation while eastern regions and Calgary received below-average amounts. Looking back at what the different weather models predicted it looks like the winner was a tie between NOAA, my forecast, and the almanacs. The first two forecasts called for near- to slightly below-average temperatures with near- to slightly below-average amounts of precipitation. The almanacs called for near- to below-average temperatures and near- to above-average amounts of precipitation. So, it all depends where you live!

Looking at the summer as a whole, Manitoba ended up seeing near- to slightly above-average temperatures along with a well-below-average amount of rainfall. Across Saskatchewan it was colder than average with near- to above-average rainfall. In Alberta it was also a colder-than-average summer and all three regions reported above-average rainfall.

Now it’s time to look ahead to see what might be in store for us over the next couple of months. Let’s begin our look at the fall forecasts with the almanacs. The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls for below-average temperatures and precipitation. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac, which is always more vague, appears to call for colder-than-average temperatures along with near- to above-average amounts of precipitation. Next on the list is Environment Canada’s CanSIPS weather model. This model calls for well-above-average temperature in both September and October along with near- to below-average amounts of precipitation. The CFS weather model calls for slightly above-average temperatures in both September and October, with Alberta seeing the best chance of above-average temperatures. Precipitation is forecast to be near average in September and near to above average in October. The last weather model, NOAA’s, calls for near- to above-average temperatures along with near-average precipitation over Alberta, rising to above average as you move eastward into Manitoba.

Finally, my two cents. I’ll have to admit my gut has been off as of late and there are no strong indicators pointing toward any particular pattern. So, I am going to go with the status quo, which means near- to below-average temperatures along with near-average amounts of precipitation. Now as usual, we’ll have to sit back and see just what Mother Nature will dish up for us this season.

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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