February Monthly Averages (C)
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]
Iknow I am a little late with our monthly look back, along with the look ahead at what this month’s weather will be, but better late than never. Next week we will try to finish up our look at Arctic sea ice.
In stark contrast to December, January 2010 turned out to be nice and warm, at least relative to what January could be. All three of our main regions (Brandon, Dauphin, Winnipeg) reported average monthly temperatures that were around 4C above the long-term average. Interestingly, over the last 10 years we have seen a fair number of warm Januarys. If we look at the mean monthly temperatures for each month over the last 10 years we would find that overall, each month has been pretty close to average. January, on the other hand, has an average temperature over this per iod that is about 3 to 4C above average. Not sure what to make of it, but it is interesting.
Precipitation in January was pretty light until the big storm hit on January 22 to 24. This storm brought a whole month’s worth of precipitation in just a couple of days,
which really isn’t unusual during the winter months. That’s one of the reasons why predicting precipitation amounts in the winter can be so hard. When everything was tallied up, all three stations reported about 23 mm of water-equivalent precipitation. This is about five mm above long-term averages for the month.
So, January 2010 came out to be well above average temperature-wise and near to well above average precipitation-wise (some regions saw over 40 mm of precipitation during the January storm). How does this compare to our different forecasts? Well, it seems that with the Christmas season, I never did get to an article about January’s forecast, but digging back through some old forecasts put out in December for January here is what I found.
The folks over at the Old Farmers Almanac called for near-average precipitation and below-average temperatures. The Canadian Farmers Almanac also called for colder-than-average along with drier-than-average conditions. Environment Canada was also on this cold prediction bandwagon, but they leaned towards near-average amounts of precipitation. As for me, I don’t think I could fairly count myself
in as I didn’t publish a forecast. If you can believe that I am honest, I was thinking January’s temperatures would come out slightly above average with precipitation below average. I leave it up to you.
Now, on to February’s forecast. Environment Canada is calling for a continuation of January’s cold weather – wait, it wasn’t cold in January, but EC thought it would be and they think February will be too. Over at the Old Farmers Almanac, they too think it will be cold in February. Heck, they think it is going to be cold right through until the middle of summer – more on that in a couple of weeks.
At the Canadian Farmers Almanac, their ever cryptic forecast tends to be leaning towards….hmmm, sounds like near-average temperatures and above-average amounts of precipitation; they do mention several storm systems to affect the Prairies.
Finally, I’m calling for near-to slightly above-average temperatures (even after the cool start to the month) along with near-average amounts of precipitation. I have a bit of an advantage here since I am creating this forecast on Feb. 7 and several regions have already seen 50 per cent to 75 per cent of February’s monthly precipitation