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Meteorologist calls for warmer than normal summer

By: Sara Wilson

  |  Posted: Monday, May 26, 2014 11:48 am

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The cold weather is behind us, and warmer than normal temperatures are on the way, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist.

“Given the winter you’ve had, (people in Rocky View County) truly feel that they are owed great weather now,” said David Phillips, meteorologist with Environment Canada. “I think people are getting to feel that they can put their winter garments away”

With the official start of summer just under a month away, it would seem like that would be a safe bet, but spring took a slow start to warm up.

“Southern Alberta has been colder than normal certainly in the fall and the last seven months have been on the cool side,” Phillips said.

For the month of May, Rocky View County and Southern Alberta is sitting about 2°C colder than normal and has seen 44 millimetre (mm) of rain.

Last year’s rainfall totaled 115 mm for the month of May, with June recording record levels of 147 mm of rain.

That deluge caused the 100-year water levels of the Elbow and Bow Rivers, which caused wide-spread flooding and destroyed homes and infrastructure in Canmore, Calgary, Bragg Creek and High Level.

Don’t except to see rain fall levels like last year though, according to Phillips who describes last year’s flood as a product of the perfect storm of high snow pack in the mountains and multiple storms that hovered over southern Alberta for days.

“The chances of an event like that happening back-to-back is very slim,” he said.

The next 10 days will see temperatures higher than normal, according to Phillips.

The forecast calls for temperature to remain in the high 20°C for much of the coming weeks.

This summer’s forecast is also calling for warmer than normal temperatures for Rocky View County.

Phillips explained that “there’s no way to tell if it’s going to be an active or non-active season of severe weather.”

Southern Alberta experiences severe weather in the summer, a result of high-pressure systems moving through the area, according to Phillips.

Last July, Irricana experienced a massive hail storm that buried Main Street under hail, ripped out trees and destroyed the exterior of homes.

There’s good news for winter as well, as Phillips explained this year’s winter will be an El Nino weather pattern, which typically brings warmer than normal air from the Pacific Ocean.


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