Ithink if you had to summarize June’s weather and you could pick only one or two words, they would be either rain or wet. In fact, if we had to summarize the last two months, I would probably use the same two words.
What started off as such a promising growing season has, for a fair number of us, turned into a disappointing year. The type of year where it seems every cloud that comes by drops some rain, and every thunderstorm brings not just a few welcome millimetres but 20, 30, 40 or 50+ millimetres! I don’t know about you, but I had a couple of times when a few choice words came out when the skies opened up for what seemed to be the umpteenth time, and just when I was finally able to get back into the garden.
We have seen our fair share of wet springs over the last 10 or so years, and I will be writing an article about that soon, but what has been a little different this year is that the wet weather really hasn’t been accompanied by cool-cold temperatures. Usually when we have a wet spring, temperatures end up being well below average, but this hasn’t been the case this year. May ended up being right around average and June ended up coming in near to just a little below average. Considering all the clouds and rain we have had, that says something.
Above are all the numbers for the month of June. Average values are in brackets, precipitation is in millimetres, and temperatures are in C.
Interestingly, when you look at the data from just these three stations they do come in a little below average for temperatures, but precipitation doesn’t seem to totally agree that we had a wet month. Part of the problem is that May was really wet, so any rain in June just made the problem worse. Another part of the problem is that most of June’s rains came in the form of thunderstorms and as most of us know, thunderstorms can drop huge amounts of rain in one area and very little only a few kilometres away.
Take Winnipeg as an example. Officially the EC weather station at the airport recorded only 56.5 mm of rainfall, so Winnipeg came in below average. If we take a look at the approximately 12 privately run weather stations located in and around the city I found monthly rainfall totals ranging from as low as 27.7 mm to as high as 179.1 mm just north of the city. This same pattern appears to have played out all across our region in June.
Some people are sitting there wondering what all the rain and wetness fuss is about as they tended to “miss” most of the rains during the month, or they did get some rains but their soil is able to handle it.
An example of this was when I was visiting the area just southeast of Brandon a couple of weeks ago. This region has hilly, sandy soils and had seen a fair bit of rain. Due to the sandy soil, the region was able to handle all the rain and the crops were doing great. Meanwhile, in my area (a little northeast of Winnipeg) we had received about the same amount of rain but crops were suffering from water damage and there was no way farmers could get onto their fields.
So, I think I will stick with an overall summary of June of near-to slightly below-average temperatures and near-to above-average precipitation. When we look back at our forecasts for June it looks as if the Old Farmer’s Almanac got it correct with a call for above-average amounts of precipitation and below-average temperatures.
Looking ahead to July, the big question (and the one people have been emailing me about) is whether the wet weather will continue or will we finally see the hot, dry weather that was promised? According to EC it looks like we will see warmer-than-average temperatures but will also continue on the wet side. Over at the Old Farmers Almanac, they are calling for warmer-than-average temperatures, with hot weather moving in later in July and near-average amounts of precipitation. The good old folks at the Canadian Farmers Almanac appear to be calling for a hot, dry July as they mention hot several times and unsettled or stormy weather is only mentioned once or twice.
Finally, here at the Co-operator, I am having a tough time coming up with a forecast for July. I still think the weather pattern will switch back to hot and dry, but I have to admit, I don’t see any good sign of it happening. So, I think I will hedge my bets and call for average conditions during July. Temperatures will remain fairly consistent over the month with scattered cool and warm spells giving an overall nice average month. Precipitation will start off on the wet side but I think we will slowly dry out as the month wears on, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking.