45C in July? Here are this month's weather records to beat
Wednesday, July 1, 2015, 4:15 AM - As we enter July, here is a snapshot of the weather records from past years - extreme highs, extreme lows and rainfall amounts - to beat across the country.
Across Canada, July has a historical reputation for being the hottest month of the year, and as such it has racked up its fair share of extreme heat records.
Below is a map of selected sites from across the country, showing their record maximum daily temperature for the month, along with the date the record was set.
Highest temperatures recorded at stations across Canada for the month of July. Data courtesy Environment Canada's Climate Normals & Averages database.
While the map is far from an exhaustive look at temperature records, it covers most major population centres, as well as stations that recorded some of the highest values in the particular province or territory. For example, the 35.6 degrees C recorded in Gander, Newfoundland, in 1952, beats out St. John's July record of 31.5 degrees C from 1983.
The most extreme of these records - 45 degrees C in Midale and Yellow Grass, SK, on July 5, 1937, which Environment Canada ranks as the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada - has stood for nearly 80 years!
Lowest temperatures recorded at stations across Canada for the month of July. Data courtesy Environment Canada's Climate Normals & Averages database.
Regardless of the typical heat of the month, July has still experienced cold snaps over the years, where temperatures dropped into the single digits, or even below freezing, as shown in the map above.
Greatest daily precipitation amount recorded at stations across Canada for the month of July. Data courtesy Environment Canada's Climate Normals & Averages database.
The month of July is certainly no stranger to rainfall, either. Some notable records for the month? The record daily rainfall totals shown above for Gander, Sudbury, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit all exceed the normal amount of rain seen for these locations for the entire month of July!
Of particular note... the 126 mm of rain that fell on Toronto's Pearson International Airport on July 8, 2013, exceeded the monthly average rainfall by over 50 mm, and resulted in some of the worst flooding the GTA had seen in years. This record displaced the previous extreme maximum - when 118.5 mm fell over the city on July 28, 1980. Beyond the extreme amount of rain, the 1980 rainfall event was apparently the origin of megahit song Tom Sawyer, by Canadian rock band Rush!
As quoted from the band's Moving Pictures tour book:
"An intense thunderstorm raged outside all day long, while indoors a storm of a different kind was brewing. In the studios of Phase One, two complete sets of equipment crammed the room, and two complete bands filled the air with a Wagnerian tumult, as Max Webster and ourselves united to record a song for their album, called 'Battlescar.' This could only be a very unique and enjoyable experience, attempting something on such a scale as this, and I think the result will testify to its success. This day also afforded Pye Dubois (Max's lyricist) the opportunity to present us with a song of his, humbly suggesting that it might be suitable for us, if we were interested. Having been long-time admirers of Pye's work, we were indeed interested, and it eventually became "Tom Sawyer," and it is interesting that an identifiable Max influence crept into the music, by way of Pye's lyrical input."
How's that for a unique weather connection?
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article included a 49oC temperature record for Saskatoon on July 27, 1919. The actual record for that day is 40oC. This error has been corrected. We apologize for any confusion.