It was just an ‘average’ July

Depending on your expectations, it will come as good or bad news that July’s weather was decidedly average.

Depending on your expectations, it will come as good or bad news that July’s weather was decidedly average.

Those convinced the month was colder and wetter than usual may be surprised — and perhaps disheartened — that the weather was pretty much par for the course, according to Environment Canada statistics.

July’s average high is 16.3C and last month clocked in at 16.1C.

The average July low is 10.1C, and that’s exactly where last month’s average ended up.

While there were a handful of impressive downpours and hail storms, the 91 mm of precipitation fell just below the historic average of 92.2 mm, said Environment Canada meteorologist Louis Kohanyi.

All things considered, July was pretty much what one can expect in Central Alberta.

There was the odd bit of excitement.

A storm that pummelled Central Alberta with hail stones up to golf-ball size and winds up to 117 km/h shredded trees and did a significant amount of crop damage.

A funnel cloud was spotted about 18 km northwest of the city but did not touch down.

Police ordered Westerner Park evacuated around 10:30 p.m. as a safety precaution.

Fortunately by then, the Westerner Days midway had already been shut down and many fair-goers had gone.

No temperature records were broken — high or low — for the month.

The hottest day was the Tuesday after the Canada Day weekend when the temperature hit 31.8C, well short of the 37.2C record for that day set in 1924.

The month’s coldest day was July 30, when the temperature bottomed out at 3.6C, a long way off the 0.6C low set in 1917.

Ending his update on a happy note, Kohanyi said August is shaping up to be hotter than usual.

“For the month of August, it’s going to be above normal.”

Precipitation is forecast to be around average, which is 70.1 mm.

On the farm front, crop damage from hail this summer has been at about a “high average” level, said Jim Jones, of the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation, a Crown corporation that offers farmers and agribusinesses crop insurance, disaster relief, loans and other services.

About 1,200 hail damage claims have come in from Central Alberta, most of them from July storms.

Across the province, 5,000 claims have been made since hail season started in May.

“Last year, Central Alberta was hit pretty hard in July. This year, it was spread across the province,” said Jones, transition manager for on-farm inspections based out of Lethbridge.

Southern Alberta has been the hardest hit region so far this year, he said.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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