Summer so far: A review of the 2014 forecast
When our forecast team here at The Weather Network released our 2014 summer seasonal outlook, we warned of a warm and dry B.C., a cool and unsettled Manitoba and Ontario and a warm Atlantic Canada. Taking a look at the numbers and stats, the summer has been panning out just as predicted.
We expected a delay in the start to this predicted pattern stating that June would be a bit of a weather seesaw but come the end of June and into July, we would really start to see this predicted pattern (warm coasts, dry middle) take hold.
RELATED: See our 2014 summer outlook
Below is an image depicting temperature anomalies across North America from June 1 through July 31, 2014. This illustrates how much above or below normal the temperatures were for every region across North America with the blues-purples-pinks being below normal and the greens-yellows-oranges-reds being above normal. We can clearly make out the above normal temperatures we’ve been experiencing throughout B.C., Alberta, the north and eastern Canada. Sandwiched in the middle is the normal to below normal summer we’ve been living with from Saskatchewan to Ontario.
But now let’s take a look at July itself because, really, a lot of the imagery in the picture above was skewed heavily by the July numbers. We really started to notice the anticipated pattern in July and it’s very clear in the image below which illustrates the temperature anomalies for July 2014 across North America. We can see the clearly depicted above normal temperatures throughout B.C., Alberta and Atlantic Canada and the cool, unsettled weather throughout southern Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
There were several big stories this July across Canada: the dry heat in B.C. and the north leading to a dangerous wildfire season, the humid heat in Atlantic Canada leading to recording breaking temperatures and humidex values for Newfoundland and the lackluster or non-existent heat across Manitoba and Ontario.
Wildfires continue to burn across western and northern Canada. There was a brief reprieve in July for many folks in B.C. which brought more comfortable temperatures and heavy rain. The rain helped with the fires for a bit but unfortunately lead to some flash flooding in the Kamloops area due to the combination of heavy rain and the scorched, dry earth not being able to keep up with absorbing the rain. Some of this heat and humidity made its way into Alberta leading to some potent thunderstorms.
RELATED: See active weather photos here
The heat has also been on in Atlantic Canada but more noticeably, the humidity! Newfoundlanders are not necessarily prone to hot and humid summer but July treated them to record breaking warmth and humidity. St. John’s averaged about 25-26ºC for July for daytime highs where normally temperatures hovered around the 20-21ºC mark. In fact, July 2014 is now the warmest month on record for St. John’s, Gander, Deer Lake and Stephenville. St. John ’s had a record 19 days above the 25ºC mark breaking the 1947 record of 14 days and three times the norm of 6 days in July above 25ºC. St. John’s also broke its all-time humidex record reaching 38.7 on July 30 (the previous record was 38.5 set in July 1983).
Temperatures in Ontario and Manitoba were struggling for a good portion of the month to reach seasonal. A few times we did get above seasonal in Ontario but it wasn’t long-lived. In fact, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport did not reach above 30.0ºC at all in July but it came close at 29.8 degrees Celsius.
This cooler, unsettled pattern lead to many small but potent thunderstorm events including flash flooding and hail events.
It also led to a boost in Ontario’s 2014 tornado count: Five tornadoes were added in July bringing the Ontario tornado count to 12 (the average being 12.4 in a year) and our Canadian total (as of August 5) to 32 tornadoes confirmed/reported where the country’s yearly average is sixty-two. In total, for the country, Canada added 19 confirmed or reported tornadoes to the list for July 2014.
A similar pattern is in store for much of August across Canada with the coasts holding onto the summer heat and the provinces in the middle struggling for some warm weather. With the active pattern set to continue for the central portions of Canada, keep checking back for forecast updates and storm tracking.