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Three months of above-average temperatures

A dry month overall, but some areas caught the benefit of showers with useful precipitation

Corn growing in St. Andrews on Aug. 7, 2018. If you planted corn, you’re likely happy with all the hot weather on the Prairies this season.

Another month has come and gone and we now find ourselves two-thirds of the way through summer. This means it’s time to take our monthly look back and then ahead, to see if any of the weather models have changed their outlook for the last month of summer.

In the last issue I indicated that we’d do a look back at how this summer has been so far and then compare it to summers past to see how all this heat stacks up. Unfortunately, that will have to wait another week as I forgot that I am on a camping trip into the wilds of southeastern B.C. OK, maybe Fernie isn’t exactly “the wilds” per se, but I am at a campsite with no power so don’t have the resources to sift through all the data.

But we all know it has been a hot summer so far, and there has been some media reports that it has been the warmest summer in 30 years, so wait one more week and I’ll break everything down in detail.

Now let’s take a quick look back at how the July weather numbers ended up. Remembering that everything is relative, after a hot May and June that saw mean monthly temperatures 2° to 3° above the long-term average, July was a little cooler, with mean monthly temperatures across all three of the major reporting stations coming in about 0.5 C above average. I emphasize ‘relative,’ because the mean monthly temperatures for July were in the 19 to 20.5 C range. This compares to 18.5 to 19.5 C in June and around 14 to 15 C in May. So, July was warm, just not really warm compared with its average, especially if you compare it to the previous months.

The warmest spot was the Winnipeg region, with a mean monthly temperature of around 20.5 C. Both Brandon and Dauphin came in around 19.5 C. The numbers would have been a little higher if we didn’t have a couple of cool days last week, along with a couple of cool overnight lows around the middle of the month.

Hit-and-miss rainfall

Overall, precipitation was average to below average across our region, but due to the nature of summertime rainfall I am sure a few areas saw above- or below-average amounts. Both the Winnipeg and Brandon regions reported below-average rainfall in July, with Winnipeg coming in 30 mm below average and Brandon 20 mm below average. Dauphin reported over 90 mm, which is about 20 mm above average. To highlight how rainfall amounts can vary over relatively short distances, parts of northern Winnipeg saw over 100 mm in July thanks to a heavy thunderstorm that moved through. Winnipeg’s reporting station at the airport, as indicated above, missed most of this and came in with only about 40 mm for the month. My place, which is a little northeast of the city, missed pretty much every rain and only recorded about 30 mm of rainfall in July.

So, overall it was a warmer-than-average July, but precipitation was a little bit hit and miss. If I had to put a number on it I would say precipitation was near to slightly below average in July. Looking back at the forecasts, I have to give the nod to the Old Farmer’s Almanac this time. Most of the forecasts called for near- to above-average temperatures in July, but the Old Farmer’s Almanac was the only one that called for near-average precipitation. If you looked at all regions across southern and central Manitoba I am sure you could find areas where other forecasts would be considered more accurate. For example, in my region I would have to go with Environment Canada as it called for below-average precipitation.

Looking ahead to August, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a continuation of the above-average temperatures, but is also leaning towards above-average amounts of precipitation. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac looks to be calling for above-average temperatures with near- to above-average amounts of precipitation as it mentions hot conditions several times along with thunderstorms and turning wet. The CFS models show up-and-down temperatures in August, with more ups than downs, resulting in slightly above-average temperatures. Their precipitation forecast is for slightly below-average amounts. The CanSIPS models show well-above-average temperatures along with below-average rainfall in August.

Checking in with Environ­ment Canada, its one- to three-month forecast is calling for above-average temperatures, but its August forecast is for near- to slightly below-average temperatures. Its precipitation forecast is calling for below-average amounts.

Finally, my kick at the proverbial weather cat. I am thinking that we will see much of the same weather we have for the last few months. This means above-average temperatures with scattered precipitation. Now, as usual, we’ll wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us.

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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