It was hot, hot, hot this summer, and while the autumnal equinox is upon us, don’t get your cold weather jackets out quite yet.
Weather guru Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, says the above-average temperatures will continue into the fall months.
“I wouldn’t write the obituary on summer-like weather just yet. This next week, we see temperatures that are going to be 23 C, 25 C, 24 C, and normal for this time of year would be around 20 C,” he said, adding that precipitation levels will be returning to normal after an unusually dry summer. “Temperatures are going to stay above normal, with some possibility of rain, but I wouldn’t suggest that we are going to get gobs of rain at all. What our models are saying for the fall, that is September, October and into November, is that we think that it will be warmer than normal.”
This past summer Waterloo Region saw 25 days that soared above 30 C, numbers Phillips says he hasn’t seen in four years. Some days, the humidex gave us temperatures well into the 40s.
“It was very much above average,” he said. “Usually, you get a lot of days in the 20s, it can be comfortable, but the water may not have seemed warm enough. There were actually 25 days where the temperature got above 30. Last year, there were five. It was really good beer-drinking weather. I live on the water and have seen people just running into the water, instead of tiptoeing like in the previous three summers.”
Lack of rainfall was a big problem in the region, but seemed to return back to normal as the summer closed out, hitting slightly above average numbers in August. For some farmers, though, it was a little too late.
“Farmers would say that it wasn’t the most perfect growing season, but for most people, it was the summer of summers. It may have been a little bit hot and humid for some people but hey, they aren’t griping because it beats the clouds and the rain,” said Phillips.
As the warmer temps continue for the next few months, Phillips is careful to mention that it won’t be 30 degrees in November. There may even be a bit of snow.
“There is a lot of residual heat in the lakes, the land and the rivers that will be expended during this next while, and so we think that the water is certainly warmer than normal, and with some cold air, that might produce some early lake effect snow maybe in November, December, but we think that it is certainly looking like it is going to be a milder than normal continuation,” he said.
Looking way into the future, Phillips says the coming winter months are going to be a bit cooler than last year, but last year’s numbers aren’t hard to beat.
“The summer isn’t even really over, but people still worry about winter,” he said with a laugh. “My sense is that winter is not going to be as brutal as a lot of people have thought – that last year we had no winter, and this year will make up for it. The Farmer’s Almanac has said that this winter is going to be the winter from hell, but they don’t always have the right scoreboard.”
He says the region should expect some cold, cold days, but also some others that are a bit milder and perfect for outdoor winter activities.
“I think it is going to be a neutral year and with that, you tend to find something for everybody,” he said. “It is going to be a lot of back and forth. You might have times where you wish you were in Florida, and other times where you would say that it’s not that bad. The sun will be out, things will be melting, and winter won’t be as long as it was predicted to be.”