Two Letters: B. R.!

Usually when I start my monthly recap of the weather I try to sum up the month in a couple of words. Well, this time I can sum up May 2009 with just a couple of letters: B and R, or brrrrrrr!

I don’t know about you, but I think I have had enough below-average temperatures! I mean, come on, seven months in a row of below-average temperatures is bad enough – just don’t impact on my summer! It’s not like we get month after month of summerlike temperatures; heck, we are lucky if we have three months of really warm temperatures (June, July and August). If it is a good year we can squeak out another month by having a summerlike second half to May and the same thing during the first half of September. Now, giving up the second half of May is one thing, but with the latest medium-range outlook still not looking good, it is starting to seem like we will have to give up June as well – and that’s just not fair!

OK, OK, I feel a little better, but just a little bit. If it wasn’t for having a greenhouse I think I would really be depressed. So just how bad was May? Well, looking back at all three of our main stations, we find that they were all well below the long-term average for the month. Brandon and Winnipeg tied for being the furthest below average, coming in at 3.8C below average. Dauphin wasn’t that much warmer, coming in at 3.3C below average.

Precipitation across the three main regions wasn’t as consistent as the temperatures. Both Brandon and Dauphin reported right around 25 millimetres of rain during the month. This put both stations well below the long-term average of about 55 mm. The Winnipeg region and areas to the south and east were a different story when it came to precipitation during May. Winnipeg recorded about 62 mm of rain, which was a little above the long-term average. Areas to the south and east of Winnipeg saw even more rain, with some regions recording nearly 100 mm of rain during the month.


Now, as usual, we need to go back and see if any one of our brilliant long-range forecasters were able to predict the cold and dry conditions across the west and the cold and wet conditions across the east – a tough forecast to pull off!

It looks like we have to actually give the nod to the folks over at Environment Canada – yep, that’s right. They called for below-average temperatures across northern and western Manitoba, along with below-average amounts of precipitation. I guess it would be us here at the Co-operator who came in second, with a rather weak call for near-to below-average temperatures along with below-average precipitation. The folks over at the Old Farmer’s Almanac were next closest with a call for near-average temperatures and below-average precipitation.

So now the real question is, will we continue to wallow in the cold and miserable weather we have been experiencing for seven months now or will the pattern finally shift to a hot and dry one?

Environment Canada (remember, it did come close to predicting May’s bad weather, so let’s not get too worked up about its early call for a hot, dry summer) is calling for below-average temperatures and near-average amounts of precipitation. Over at the Old Farmer’s Almanac things are not looking very good. It calls for below-average temperatures along with above-average amounts of precipitation. The ever-easy-to-figure-out Canadian Farmers’ Almanac is a tough one to figure out. It mentions cool air a couple of times along with surges of heat and warm, humid air. I think, overall, that it’s calling for near-to slightly above-average temperatures and precipitation, as it calls for showers and thunderstorms every week or so.


Finally, here at the Co-operator, I am not feeling overly optimistic about June’s weather. Looking at the current mid-to long-range models it looks like the first half of June will be well below average in the temperature department, with the second half finally seeing a recovery. I just don’t think the recovery will be strong enough to offset the cold start to the month, so overall the month will end below average. Precipitation is always tough, but with most of our summer rain coming from thunderstorms and with the lack of really warm, moist air around, I think we will see below-average amounts for the month.

Gosh, if I had to hope for a winner I would have to go with the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac!

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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