Atlantic Canada's hot summer continues, storm risk returns
Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 7:46 PM - It won't come as a surprise to most Atlantic Canada residents that summer 2018 has had more than its fair share of hot, sticky days recently. A particularly strong Bermuda high dominated off the southeast coast of the United States, funneling southerly winds -- and deep tropical heat and moisture -- into the Maritimes, and Newfoundland and Labrador for much of July. While we've seen a few breaks in the oppressive atmosphere for the region, the heat is on once again as we head into the August long weekend. We take a look at what to expect, and which records are falling to the prolonged heat wave, below.
HEAT, OPPRESSIVE HUMIDITY UNWELCOME HOLIDAY VISITORS
It might seem like a distant memory amid heat warnings and humidex values in the high 30s, but this summer's holiday weekends have been hit and miss across parts of Eastern Canada (remember when it was snowing around Victoria Day?), and the August long weekend is going to be no exception. As the offshore high pressure centre holds onto its position of dominance in the east, heat and humidity from the U.S. south are on their way back to Atlantic Canada this week.
This high will, by and large, deflect systems expected to push through Ontario and Quebec to the north, bringing the risk for showers and thunderstorms to Labrador, but keeping the rest of Atlantic Canada high and dry -- at least, figuratively speaking. With dew point temperatures in the 20s, it will probably feel anything but 'dry' to anyone with outdoor plans.
WATCH BELOW: TROPICAL MOISTURE MAKES ITS RETURN
Heat warnings are once again in effect for all of the Maritimes (aside from the immediate Bay of Fundy coastline) as well as north-central Newfoundland, in anticipation of a spell of warm, humid air that will settle over the region going into the long weekend. Temperatures will continue to creep up through the week, with increasing humidity following close behind as high pressure funnels southern air into the region.
Humidex values will be creeping into the mid-30s for many, with little relief expected through the overnight hours. While showers and thunderstorms are possible on Thursday and Friday as a weak upper level disturbance flows up and around the ridge of high pressure, they're unlikely to make much of a dent in the heat and humidity going into the weekend.
RECORDS MELTING IN THE SUMMER SUN
While it took summer a little while to get much traction in Atlantic Canada, July has more than made up for lost time, with numerous record streaks. Saint John recorded six days at or above 27ºC in July. Halifax saw 21 days at or above 25ºC as of July 30 -- that was a tie for the most ever recorded in the city. And July 31 didn't disappoint -- the city topped out around 27ºC on Tuesday.
Looking ahead beyond the first few days of August, it seems there's still hope if you were looking for a more 'average' spell of summer days in Atlantic Canada. The upper level pattern across the continent that's kept temperatures elevated along the west and east coasts seems set to be more variable as we head into late summer.
While it certainly doesn't mark the end of days of above-average heat, we do expect to see the western ridge of high pressure drift eastward into central Canada, making way for more upper level troughs of low pressure along the coasts -- and in return, making for more heat in the centre of the country and cooler days on the coasts (or, at least, days closer to seasonal averages). Don't put away the air conditioner just yet, though; given the intensity and tenacity of this summer's Bermuda high, it's likely we'll see at least one more span of hot, soupy days in Atlantic Canada before it's time to set out those fall decorations.