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Will The Warm, Dry Weather Continue?

October has come and gone and looking back, we could describe October s weather best by calling it the month of two tales, and fortunately for us, both of the tales were pretty good ones!

We started off the month with record-breaking temperatures across pretty much all of agricultural Manitoba, with nearly every place breaking a high temperature record on Oct. 5 or 6. During this fall heat wave we also saw a number of all-time October high temperature records fall, making it a once-in-a-lifetime weather event. These warm temperatures continued until around the middle of the month before we saw things cool down.

Usually at this time of the year, when we experience a period of really warm weather, it is often followed up by a big shot of cold air, but this year that was not really the case. While we did cool down, and it might have felt fairly cool after such a warm start to the month, temperatures during the second half of the month were right around average. So, if we combine these average temperatures with the really warm start to the month, we end up with above-average temperatures overall.

Looking at the average monthly temperatures in Winnipeg and Brandon, we find both locations did in fact experience well-above-average temperatures in October. Brandon saw a mean monthly temperature around the 7 to 8 C mark, about 3 C above average. Winnipeg s mean monthly temperature was around the 9 C mark, nearly 4 C above average.

Precipitation in October was a little more variable due to some late-season thunderstorms/ showers. Yes, that s right, thunderstorms and showers in late October! Overall, most regions of agricultural Manitoba saw only light amounts of precipitation during the month. The Brandon region recorded only 10 millimetres of rain, or about one-third of its long-term average. Eastern regions saw a little more precipitation during October, with a number of locations reporting around 20 mm of rain, or about half of what is normally expected. Some locations between Portage, and a little east of Winnipeg, did see average amounts of precipitation due to some thunderstorms. Winnipeg, for example, recorded 36 mm of rain during October, which was right on the long-term average.

If we look farther west across the Prairies we find that the warm October conditions were also found across most of eastern and central Saskatchewan, with both Regina and Saskatoon reporting above-average temperatures for the month. In Alberta it was a little cooler, but both Edmonton and Calgary reported a mean monthly October temperature that was slightly above average. The dry conditions experienced over western Manitoba continued across all of Western Canada, with pretty much every location in Saskatchewan and Alberta reporting well-belowaverage amounts of precipitation. The lowest amount was in Edmonton, where only five mm of precipitation fell all month!

Who called it?

Now, who correctly predicted the warm and dry conditions for October? Well, for the first time in a while, my forecast was the only one that was correct; Environment Canada came in second with a call for above-average temperatures and near-average amounts of rain. Now on to November s weather outlook&

According to both theOld Farmer s Almanacand the Canadian Farmers Almanac, November is going to be very cold, with near-to slightly above-average amounts of precipitation which will mean a fair bit of snow. Over at Environment Canada things look a little better as it predicts above-average temperatures, at least for the first half of the month. It also calls for near-to above-average amounts of precipitation.

Here at theCo-operatorI am calling for a warmer-than-average November. The current medium-to long-range weather models are showing average to well-above-average temperatures lasting at least until the middle of the month. The one fly in the ointment is an outside chance of a significant winter storm system affecting our region around Nov. 5. Should this system materialize, this would have a large impact on the rest of November.

This leads us to the precipitation forecast for November. The models currently point toward a drier-than-average November, but with most of our precipitation coming from only one or two storm systems, it doesn t take much for us to go from really dry to really wet conditions. Personally, I think we ll dodge the big storm systems and end up seeing belowaverage amounts of precipitation. Now, as usual, we just have to sit back and wait to see what happens.

———

Usually at this time of the year, when we experience a period of really warm weather, it s often followed up by a big shot of cold air, but this year that wasn t really the case.

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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