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Warm summer, warm fall?

From most people’s perspective summer is now over and we are entering fall. A few locations in southeastern Manitoba even saw a touch of frost over the weekend. That means it’s time to take a look ahead to see what the long-range forecasters predict for this fall. But before we tackle that, we need to look back at both August and the summer as a whole to see how they stacked up.

Looking back at August’s weather across agricultural Manitoba, we find that once again, the average monthly temperature for nearly every station came in above average. This makes it the 15th straight month with above-average temperatures. This also continues the record for warmest 12-month period ever. The mean temperature from last September to the end of August was 6.0 C, which was well above the previous record of 5.6 C set back in 1877.

August started off with fairly average temperatures, with highs on most days in the mid- to upper 20s. Then around the middle of the month, some unseasonable cool air moved in and it looked like we might finally see an end to the above-average monthly temperatures. Mother Nature then decided that summer wasn’t ready to end and we saw high pressure build back in and a return to warm and even hot conditions. Temperatures peaked on the 29th when several locations broke records with highs in the 35 to 37 C range.

Precipitation during August was, with the exception of the far northwestern region, below average. The month started off promising, with a number of locations seeing significant rains during the first week. After that the showers were few and far between, and when they did come they were slight. By the end of the month the majority of agricultural Manitoba had received less than 60 per cent of what we usually expect to see during the month, with a fairly large area receiving less than 40 per cent of the average.

When we look back at the summer as a whole it’s not surprising that we saw above-average temperatures. The mean summer temperature across most regions came in right around the 20 C mark, about 1.5 C warmer than average, but a full degree cooler than the record-warm summer of 1988. Precipitation amounts recorded this summer in the northern third of agricultural Manitoba were between 115 and 150 per cent of average, while western regions saw amounts right around average. Over south-central and eastern regions this summer was pretty dry, with most spots only seeing between 60 and 85 per cent of the average, and some only around 50 per cent.

It would appear the forecast for a warm and dry summer was partially true. Now, it’s time to take a look ahead and see what the different forecasters predict for this fall’s weather. Environment Canada calls for the mild weather to continue, as all of Manitoba is expected to see above-average temperatures from September through to November. Precipitation is not as well defined, but overall, EC calls for near-average amounts during this time period.

Over at the Old Farmer’s Almanac they are also calling for above-average temperatures in September and November, with near-average temperatures in October. Precipitation, it says, will be near average this fall. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac sings a little different tune for this fall. It appears to call for near- to above-average temperatures in September as it mentions fair and pleasant several times. Temperatures then look to cool down to near or even slightly below average in October as it mentions fair and cold a few times. This cooling trend looks to continue into November as it seems it will be a colder-than-average month with several mentions of cold or turning colder. Precipitation this fall according to the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac will be near average for September and above average for October and November. For November it mentions snow several times and calls for heavy snows late in the month.

Finally, my forecast is for milder-than-average conditions to continue well into the fall. Along with the mild weather we’ll also see near- to slightly below-average amounts of precipitation. But as I have pointed out several times in the past, if I, or anyone else for that matter, was actually able to reliably predict the weather this far in advance, we would be rich!

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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