Summer finally came to Red Deer in August, according to Environment Canada.
If only we can find a way to make it linger a while.
Senior Climatologist David Phillips said after a slow start to the month, it warmed up quickly.
“We ended up with an August where the daytime high was two degrees warmer than normal, the night time temperature was about 1.5 degrees warmer than normal and the whole temperature was about 1.8, almost two degrees warmer and that is significant,” said Phillips.
“We would describe a month where the temperature averaged half a degree above as warmer than normal.”
For proper perspective on August, Phillips brought both June and July into the equation.
He said on average temperatures were higher than normal, but the average high was lower. This occurred because nights were cloudy, trapping heat in from the day and elevating the minimum temperatures.
“People were walking around feeling it was a little cooler than what the weather people are saying,” said Phillips. “The afternoon temperatures, where it matters for people, they were colder than normal.”
With warmer than normal lows, that meant it averaged out as warmer than normal in June and July.
By combining these elements, the summer comes out to be slightly warmer than normal.
“Coming into the summer, winter weather seemed long as it began before Halloween and went on beyond Easter, and summer just seemed to not get going as people wanted it to,” said Phillips. “I think it was the shortness of summer that may have been the greatest irritant in Central Alberta.”
Helping August was the lack of precipitation. The local weather station recorded just 13 mm of rain for the entire month, below the average of about 70 mm.
“It was almost, from a farming point of view, you couldn’t order better weather,” said Phillips.
Red Deer has been lucky in avoiding the first frost of the year. Phillips said the earliest recorded frost over the past 35 years was on Aug. 7 and the mean first frost over the same time period is Sept. 7. The latest frost in that time frame occurred on Oct. 7.
Frost is not predicted in the long-range, seven-day forecast from Environment Canada.
“We have had, in recent years, remarkable Septembers,” said Phillips, adding even recently September has been the warmest month of the year.
Tuesday’s high was 27C and Wednesday’s was 29C, where the normal for this time of year is 19.
“We will see a couple of not so nice days coming up, but then we’re back up to 24 degrees,” said Phillips. “My sense in the short term is we’re seeing a typical September, something that reminds you of fall, but rolls back into what summer weather should be like.
“Our models are showing that the next 10 days, two weeks and month we think it will be warmer than normal. September warmth, not July warmth.”
Environment Canada is anticipating warmer than normal temperatures, which could be as much as half a degree above the average for a month, for September, October and maybe even into November.