Meteorologist forecasting above average fall and winter
It’s been a summer of weather extremes – with historic flooding, thunderstorms and hail storms rolling through Alberta – but an Environment Canada meteorologist is forecasting a reprieve, with a fall and winter with above average temperatures.
June’s record breaking rainfall came in at 146 millimetres (mm) over the month far exceeding the normal averages of 79.8 mm. However, July and August came below average precipitation levels.
According to Environment Canada, July recorded 47 mm of rain – below the 67.9 mm average mark, and August just saw 21 mm, almost half of the 58.8 mm Airdrie and Calgary area usually sees.
“It was quite an unsettled affair,” Garry Dickson, meteorologist with Environment Canada explained. “There was a large high-pressure system that hovered over the west coast of British Columbia most of the summer, which caused a low-pressure system to hang over Alberta.”
That low pressure weather system was responsible for the seven thunderstorms that rolled through Airdrie and caused the devastating flooding that affected most of southern Alberta, he added.
The Town of Irricana was hit with a record breaking hail storm, July 6, as the two-hour event tore down trees, devastated residents’ homes and left nearly two-feet of hail along Main Street.
Hail amounts are difficult to record, as they tend to be localized events where no major weather stations are located, according to Dickson.
With the wet weather behind us, Dickson said southern Albertans can look forward to a warmer-than-average fall and winter.
“Looking at the seasonal forecast, the next two months are looking to be warmer than usual,” he said.
The average temperature for September usually hovers around 17.8°C. The average for October is 12.1°C and November dip to single digits with 2.8°C.
The average temperature for January is a chilly -02.8°C and February still hangs on to minus temperatures at -0.6°C.
Precipitation for the fall and winter months is expected to also be above normal levels, according to Dickson.
The winter months – December, January and February – usually produce a three-month average of 48.7 centimetres (cm) of snow and 0.6 mm of rainfall.
Despite the warmer temperatures, the mountains are also expected to record higher than average levels of snowfall, according to Dickson.