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Hot and humid are in the forecast as season shifts into summer

[Damon Maclean]

Spring may have been cooler and damper than usual, but the weather is expected to heat up. Summer arrives Saturday, and the forecast calls for some season hot, hazy and humid.

Now exiting, spring was up to a full degree colder than average. Some residents of the townships may have found conditions “pleasantly cool,” notes David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

“The spring was a little on the cool side in southern Ontario, particularly in the Kitchener/Guelph area,” he said this week, but there were a few days where the mercury topped 30 degrees in May.

On the other hand, there was the occasional frost in what is generally considered a warmer month, he added, noting that cooler weather may have been helpful in encouraging people to stay home during the COVID-19 crisis.

Now past the halfway point, June has offered up days reaching 30 degrees Celsius in the region, what Phillips describes as a “summertime situation.”

Saturday marks the summer solstice, the official beginning of the season. As the days get shorter after the solstice, the temperatures will continue to rise. In the coming weeks before July, humidity and heat are expected to rise to unpleasant levels.

“We’re getting those temperatures in the 30s, high humidity where it becomes a little bit more uncomfortable and maybe too warm,” he said of conditions that we saw traces of during a heat wave at the end of May.

Temperatures are expected to be above average during the months of June, July and August, which may cause some complications for farmers, especially with low precipitation expected over the summer months.

Although it is hard to predict precipitation levels in advance of a couple of hours, “what we’re showing in our models is that it looks like it’s going to be drier than normal summer,” said Phillips. This dry summer heat and lack of rain will be beneficial for lakes and water bodies, which currently remain at high volumes. Phillips calculated precipitation to be a mere 60 per cent of the average levels.

In terms of severe weather, it is also difficult to predict what the season has in store. However, based on historical data, he says severe weather should be anticipated in the region.

“The climate tells us that in this area we do get our share of severe violent kinds of weather, from heavy rains, tornadic winds, hail, strong winds of the twisting kind, so that we do get that and, of course, lightning strikes.”

That said, the intensity of the weather is not expected to match the recent destruction in areas such as Calgary.

The rising temperatures may be challenging for those stuck in self-isolation and quarantine, but public beaches are beginning to reopen, as well as the facilities such as splash pads – both options for beating the heat.

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