Record Warm And More To Come? – for Nov. 5, 2009

MONTHLY AVERAGES FOR NOVEMBER

Average

Max

Min

Mean

PPT

Brandon

-0.6C

-10.6C

-5.6C

18.6mm

Dauphin

-0.9C

-10.2C

-5.6C

22.1mm

Winnipeg

-0.9C

-9.6C

-5.3C

25.0mm

Well, another month has come and gone and once again we saw colder-than-average conditions. So far this year, only September has been warmer than average. Looking back at October, I think the best way to summarize the month would be gloomy. I don’t have access to current sunshine records, but if I had to guess, I would say October 2009 was well below average in the amount of sunshine. Typically we would see values ranging from 145 to 165 hours of bright sunshine during the month or about 45 per cent of all daylight hours.

With all the cloud cover during the month, it is not surprising that we were colder than average. Without the sunshine during the day, the average daytime highs ended up running as much as 3 to 4C below long-term values. Looking at the overnight lows, we find the opposite. With all the cloud cover, temperatures rarely fell very far below the freezing mark. This resulted in average overnight temperatures coming in at and even a little bit above the long-term average.

If we put both of these values together we end up with a mean monthly temperature that was about 2C below the long-term average.

Precipitation during the month of October ended up coming in right around average – not surprising with all the clouds around. Both Winnipeg and Dauphin recorded values within a couple of millimetres of their averages, while Brandon saw some heavy rain on the first day of October that resulted in an above-average amount.

How did the actual weather compare to our various forecasts? Well, it seems like no one was able to fully predict October’s weather. I guess Environment Canada would get the nod for being closest as they called for near-average temperatures and precipitation.

As we enter the last two months of the year the question is whether we will continue to see below-average temperatures or will we finish with a shot of mild weather? Looking at what is happening with El Nińo, which might end up being the main controlling factor of this winter’s weather, it has just gone from being a light El Nińo to a moderate one. Now, to be truly classified as a moderate El Nińo it has to remain at this level for several months, but this does seem to indicate that the current El Nińo episode is gaining in strength and will likely last through much of the winter.

That said, it seems that our chance of seeing a typical El Nińo winter is growing, and, if we look at Environment Canada’s forecast they seem to be seeing things that way as well. They are calling for above-average temperatures across our region during November along with below-average amounts of precipitation.

Over at the Old Farmer’s Almanac they seem to have some contradictions in their forecast. For the Canadian Prairies, they are calling for above-average temperatures in eastern regions along with below-average amounts of precipitation. What I find a little strange is that for the region directly south of us they are calling for belowaverage temperatures. In either case, they are calling for very cold temperatures near the end of November.

The Canadian Farmers Almanac missed out in its call for blowing dust in October (at least I never heard or read about it happening) and they are making an equally interesting prediction for November. Over all, it would appear that they are calling for belowaverage temperatures as they mention frosty, cold, and very cold several times during the month. Precipitation looks as if it will be above average, with calls for several stormy periods. Heck, they are even calling for thunderstorms late in the month as very cold air clashes with warm Gulf air – now that would be interesting!

Finally, here at the Co-operator, I am going to lean towards an El Nińo forecast with a call for milder-than-average temperatures during November along with below-average amounts of precipitation.

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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