Drier summer to come

August may offer the summer we’ve all been waiting for. Environment Canada is forecasting a slightly warmer and drier month than July. Greg Pearce, forecaster technologist for Environment Canada, said this week should be dry until the weekend when clouds and showers will take over late Friday.

August may offer the summer we’ve all been waiting for.

Environment Canada is forecasting a slightly warmer and drier month than July.

Greg Pearce, forecaster technologist for Environment Canada, said this week should be dry until the weekend when clouds and showers will take over late Friday.

Forecasters are expecting August to be slightly above normal for Red Deer, and precipitation is expected to be slightly below normal.

“It looks fairly dry for the first week so we shouldn’t any significant rain until late (this) weekend,” Pearce said.

July was a wet month, but it didn’t beat the overall record for the month.

The Red Deer area received a total of 140.2 mm of rain, compared with the normal of 93.1 mm for the month.

The record for one day in July happened on July 16, 1949, when 85.3 mm fell. Last month, the two biggest rainfalls occurred on the 12th when 35.4 mm was dumped in the Red Deer area, and another 62.8 mm fell the following day.

Some flooding occurred in Red Deer and outlying areas from those two heavy days of rain. Lacombe recorded a whopping 76 mm of rain in the 16-hour period.

Heavy rains and wind gusts of up to 60 km/h were also recorded in mid-July. But that wasn’t the only weather stinger for July. A small tornado was reported 25 km west northwest of Sundre on Friday afternoon by multiple storm spotters. No damage was reported. Cloud seeding planes, used to decrease the size of ice stones, were also busy.

Planes were dispatched over both Rocky Mountain House and Sundre on July 21 and hours were spent seeding northeast of Olds, between Innisfail and Red Deer, and southwest of Sylvan Lake on July 22.

July’s mean temperature (normal temperature over a given period of time) was 15.4C, slightly lower than the average mean 15.6C temperature for the month.

The average high was 22.1C in July, compared with the normal of 22.3C.

The overnight lows were comparable for July — the normal is 8.8 C and the actual is 8.6C.

“At one point, (Environment Canada) was forecasting a hot dry summer,” Pearce said. “It worked out for parts of Eastern Canada, but Alberta didn’t have a very warm July.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com