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Let’s remember a very warm, dry September

Of the Prairie provinces, Manitoba had the warmest September compared to average

Manitoba’s precipitation over September ranged from just trace amounts in the Dauphin region to a little over 20 mm around Brandon.

I don’t know about you, but September seemed to just fly by this year. Also, thinking back on the month, yes, the weather was pretty nice, but it didn’t seem as warm as what the final numbers came in at. Maybe it was due to the fact that, while it was a warm month, we were unfairly comparing it to summer.

Overall, across the Prairies it was a warm September. In fact, in some regions it was the warmest month, compared to average, since last January. With all the heat came a lack of rainfall, with some areas reporting only trace amounts.

Starting out west in Alberta, the Edmonton region was the warm spot, both literally and compared to average. Edmonton reported a mean monthly temperature of 13.6 C in September, 3.4 C above the long-term average. Calgary came in a close second at 13.4 C, with Peace River, up in the northern region, reporting 11 C. Precipitation was fairly light, with amounts ranging from about 16 mm in Calgary up to around 30 mm in Edmonton.

Over in Saskatchewan, the warm September weather continued, with both Saskatoon and Regina reporting a mean monthly temperature that was just shy of 14 C. These values were a little over 2 C warmer than the long-term average. It was a very dry month in both of these locations, with amounts ranging from a little over a trace in Regina to a measly 5.6 mm in Saskatoon.

Moving into Manitoba, the warm September weather continued as well. In fact, overall, Manitoba was the September hot spot. All three locations reported mean monthly temperatures that were over 3 C warmer than their long-term averages. Dauphin’s mean September temperature of 15.4 C was the hot spot compared to average, coming in 3.7 C warmer. Winnipeg was the hot spot when it came to the actual mean temperature, with a reading of 15.7 C. Precipitation didn’t fare that much better than it did in Saskatchewan, with amounts ranging from a trace in the Dauphin region to a little over 20 mm around Brandon.

Who called it?

So, September turned out to be a very warm and very dry month right across the Prairies. Looking back at the different forecasts for the month, it appears that there is a tie between the Old Farmer’s Almanac and the CFS computer model, with both calling for a warm and dry month. So far this year, the CFS weather model has been doing a pretty good job with the one-month extended forecasts.

Looking ahead to October and November: the Old Farmer’s Almanac calls for a continuation of the warm and dry weather in October followed by more seasonal conditions in November. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac looks to be calling for near-average temperatures and precipitation in October as it mentions fair weather often along with a couple of chances for rain. Its November forecast appears to call for near- to below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation, with plenty of unsettled and stormy weather.

Moving on to the various weather models: NOAA’s extended forecast is taking the safe route as it calls for both near-average temperatures and near-average precipitation right across the Prairies. The CFS model calls for very warm conditions over the next two months, with October expected to see temperatures as much as 5 to 7 C above average, especially over the eastern Prairies. Precipitation across most of the Prairies is forecasted to be near to below average in both October and November, with a chance of above-average amounts over southern Manitoba in October. The CanSIPS weather model also calls for a very warm October with near-average amounts of precipitation, but it deviates from the CFS model in November with a forecast of near- to below-average temperatures along with near-average amounts of precipitation.

Last on the list of forecasts is my attempt. I have the advantage of seeing all of the forecasts and then also looking at the latest medium-range forecasts. Even with the extra advantage I sometimes — OK, more than sometimes — blow it; just look at my September forecast! Keeping all this in mind, I have to lean toward a warmer-than-average October, especially during the first half of the month. Along with the warm temperatures will come the chance for significant rainfall. It all depends on whether we get hit by whatever storm system triggers our shift to cooler fall temperatures sometime this month. So, right now I am leaning toward near- to above-average precipitation in October. November is a tough one; I can easily see the warm pattern continuing, but after four months of near- to above-average temperatures, we are eventually going to see a sustained period of cooler weather. The question is, will it be November? I am going to go with near- to slightly below-average temperatures in November along with near-average amounts of precipitation. Maybe this will be the year when we see the return of the big November blizzard!

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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