Author Archives: Mike R

Fall 2017 Forecast

After a hot, smokey and dry summer fall will continue the warm pattern but with a few breaks of colder and wetter weather. The warmest Month compared to normal will be October

The warmest anomalies should be in the Southeast part of the province. near normal in northwestern Alberta. A trough to the west and ridge to the east setup for much of the fall should beef up precip amounts and may cause similar issues to last year during harvest.

September: Near normal temperatures overall and wetter. Periods of hot and dry mixed with snowy and cold spells should equalize anomalies and Sept should finish near normal.

October: Much warmer than normal and wet. Warm weather over long periods with ample rainfall; This combo may also result in some very late season thunderstorm outbreaks. Primary areas are along the rim of the ridge including the QE2 corridor and the Yellow head corridor.

November: Warmer than normal, near normal precip. There is some uncertainty with November due to a developing La Nina event. At this point very warm temperatures at least for the first half, however the transition to winter might be slow or delayed into December.

“Hottest day of the year” smothered! BC smoke blots out the SUN!

Thick smoke blots out the sun over a large portion of Alberta and Saskatchewan.nuclearwinter.png

What was forecast to be the hottest day of 2017 was anything but that. Very thick smoke blew in from the many thousands of massive forest fires blotting out the sun for most of the day. In the worst hit area around Edmonton the sun was barely visible as a faint red dot. The temperature originally forecast to reach 33C barely got to 24C. nearly ten degrees colder!. The International airport only reached around 23C. Further south the smoke did clear off enough by early afternoon to reach the 30s. Red deer at 31C and Calgary at 32C.

Today(August 30 2017) Now stands as a prime example as summers grow hotter and drier there will be fewer hot days, that is a bit strange but it’s quite simple. The hot and dry weather leads to so many fires that the smoke blots out the sun like we saw today, cutting up to 10 degrees Celsius from the high temperature. The hot muggy days remain however because there are no evergreen forests between us and the Gulf of Mexico to ignite. No forest=No forest fire

Another unfortunate factor is that as the sun heats the smoke cloud instead of the ground, it creates a strong inversion. This kills convection and severely reduces rainfall as a result, even though the smoke provides more condensation nuclei for the raindrops. Drought conditions appear to be worsening across the province. Long range forecasts show very dry conditions lasting into the winter meaning spring 2018 will also be in severe drought, regardless of how much snow falls

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Withered grass and trees along Gaetz Ave in Red Deer.

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Parched boulevard in Red Deer

An extreme example of this effect can be seen in the small town of Camrose, Alberta, where “because of the smoke” they will set an all time record for the “hottest summer of record without hitting 30C”. Temperatures as high as they have ever got to without going over 30.0C. The smoke smothered the hottest days. Other locations have had a much warmer than normal summer but had fewer than average hot days.

The pattern is likely to continue well into the fall. While there is a good chance of 30C+ weather on multiple occasions in September; it is likely smoke will smother those days as well.

We could be dealing with this acrid smoke well into October.

Summer 2017 Forecast: Hot, humid, and stormy.

Summer 2017 Forecast:

June 4th 2017 5:30pm.

A look back at spring 2017 we can see we did well with our forecast the spring colder and wetter than normal with the exception of May which help equalize the season. Temperatures trended warmer quite quickly as we expected in early May getting near the 30C mark several times. May overall was 2-5C warmer than normal with near to well above normal precipitation. Though the extreme northern region was much drier than normal

This ample moisture will play it’s part into the summer of 2017

Overall Summer 2017 should be hot and humid over all but the most eastern sections near the SK border, The highest temperatures compared to normal are expected to be in the NW part of the province. Rainfall will be above normal along the foothills and int he Rockies promoting a higher flood risk for the major rivers. Drier than normal conditions should dominate in the northwest.

Thunderstorm activity should be higher than normal over the foothills and parts of Central and southern Alberta.

June: near to above normal temperatures over most of the province with above to well above normal rainfall in Central and Western Alberta. Thunderstorm activity will be higher than normal in parts on central and southern Alberta. There is a chance of a flood event along major rivers mid month. Main area to watch for severe weather is the southern portion of the province.

July: Dominant ridge shifts eastwards. Heat and humidity could reach warning levels at times, with humidex index exceeding 40. Temperatures could surpass 35C especially in northwestern Alberta and southern Alberta. Thunderstorms during this month could be exceptionally severe(very high TSI), areas and events to watch are the foothills, yellow head corridor west of Edmonton, and the QE2 corridor. Rainfall near to slightly below normal in southern and Central Alberta, well below normal in northern sections.

August: Cooler temperatures return with the main ridging pattern shifting back to the west. Thunderstorm activity shifts into NW Alberta as conditions turn wetter. There is likely to be extreme fire risk in that part of the province by this time. Early frost may be a concern in eastern Alberta. Main area to watch for severe weather would be the peace country, Grande Prairie area, and the northern foothills.