Will warm June follow unusually warm May?

Mid-range weather models continue to show colder weather a couple of weeks away

Another month has come and gone — at least it will have by the time you read this, which means it’s time for our monthly weather roundup. As you probably know, I have to write my articles and forecasts about three days before you get a chance to read them. This means for some months, in order to be timely with the monthly weather roundup, I have to write it while there are still a couple of days left in the month. Usually this doesn’t really create a problem, but a forecast of a possible significant rainfall event across our region during the last day of the month just might throw off the precipitation totals for the month. So, keeping that in mind… here we go.

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After seeing our streak of 10 consecutive months with above-average temperatures come to an end in April, the heat returned in May. Average monthly temperatures at all three of our main locations (Winnipeg, Brandon, Dauphin) were 2 to 3 C above the long-term average. While we did have some cold weather during the month, especially around mid-month when cold weather and spotty precipitation brought snow to some locations, overall, temperatures were more like summer than spring. I don’t think anyone will forget the short blast of record-breaking heat that moved in on May 5, with record highs being broken at nearly every station across southern and central Manitoba. While we didn’t see that type of heat return during the remainder of the month we did see a pretty long stretch of nice warm temperatures from May 17 to 25.

When I looked back to see the last time we had a nice warm May, I was very surprised at what I found. I know we’ve had some crappy May weather over the past few years, but in actuality, we’ve had crappy May weather for almost two decades! I had to go all the way back to May 1998 to find another May that came even close to the temperatures we saw this May. Oh, there were a couple of Mays that saw average or even a little above average, but overall, May temperatures have been very cold lately, so it was nice to see this May end up being so warm.

As for precipitation, depending on what happens weather-wise on May 31, amounts up to that date were running below the long-term average at all three locations. Both the Brandon and Winnipeg regions were about 20 mm below average for the month, with the Dauphin region coming in around 30 mm below average.

Who called it?

Now on to the fun part: determining who was best able to predict May’s weather, then moving on to June’s forecast. Looking back, three of the four forecasts called for above-average temperatures in May, with only the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac calling for near average. That means that it will all hinge on who correctly predicted the precipitation, and that will all depend on what happens on May 31. If we do not see much in the way of rainfall on the 31st, then Environment Canada, the Old Farmer’s Almanac and my forecast will all be tied, since all three called for below-average rainfall. If we get 20 or so millimetres of rain on the 31st, then the Canadian Farmers’ Almanac moves up in the standings, since it’s the only one to call for near-average rainfall.

Now, on to June’s forecast. According to Environment Canada, June will see near-average temperatures, as that’s what its 28-day forecast, issued on May 26, shows. Its longer three-month forecast calls for above-average temperatures. As for precipitation, its three-month forecast continues to call for near-average amounts.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls for slightly below-average temperatures in June along with well-above average amounts of rain. The slightly below-average temperatures will continue into July, but this time with below-average amounts of rain. Things then get really warm and dry in August, with a forecast for well-above-average temperatures. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac appears to call for near- to slightly above-average temperatures, with fair conditions to start and end the month, and a week of hot temperatures around the middle of the month. Precipitation looks to be near to below average as it mentions the chance for severe thunderstorms several times during the month. July looks to be cool and wet, with mentions of storms and cooler weather.

On to my forecast. I’m going to stick with my gut feeling that we’ll continue to see above-average temperatures along with near- to slightly below-average amounts of rain. The mid-range weather models have been consistently showing colder weather trying to move in about two weeks from now, but they have also been consistently doing this for a while. A week ago, the cold weather was a couple of weeks away; now today the cold weather is still a couple of weeks away. Typically when this happens, we don’t see this pattern shift take place, but it does stop and make you think a little bit. The nice thing is, if we do see some colder weather move in two to three weeks from now, it won’t be that cold, since we are entering the nice warm days of summer.

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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