It’s official: May was a record-breaking scorcher.
Environment Canada says the average temperature in Red Deer for the month was 13.4 C, beating the old record of 13.1 C set in 1998 based on 104 years of records. Temperature logging actually began in 1909 but a few years are missing.
The normal average temperature for Red Deer is 9.7 C, said Environment Canada meteorologist Dan Kulak.
Interestingly, the record was set without breaking a single daytime high record in the month, although there were some close calls. No record highs have been set in June so far either.
Making the month even more pleasant was that it was drier than normal. It was the 27th driest May on the books. The rain gauge at Red Deer Airport recorded 32.8 mm of precipitation compared with 55.4 mm in a normal year.
Kulak said meteorologists cannot say why May was so warm, or why winter lingered before suddenly temperatures soared, seemingly bypassing spring.
Weather is variable, from day to day, month to month, year to year and decade to decade.
“It’s unusual to see such a wild switch from so cold in April to something so warm at the end of April into May. But as a meteorologist I don’t have a good finger on that one.”
A heat warning was in effect on Friday and running through Saturday for the Red Deer-Ponoka-Innisfail-Stettler areas.
Thunderstorms are also expected through Saturday and Sunday.
“That’s typical for summer. You get some warm spells and then you get some storm cells move through.”
Environment Canada warns residents to be wary of lightning, which is the number one weather-related killer.
Lightning bolts can come from as far as 20 km away and from storms that do not look threatening, said Kulak.