Friday, 1 August 2014

Dry and Cool-ish July

     This past July was good news for anyone seeing flooding. Overall, drier than usual conditions helped to dry things out. In Winnipeg, just 25.4 mm fell at the airport, putting July at 14th driest since 1873. This marks the 4th top 15 driest July since 2006, continuing the trend of drier Julys in the last 8 years. The lack of significant thunderstorm activity is a factor. The greatest daily rainfall was just 8.1 mm on July 13, most of which was not associated with thunderstorm activity. The lack of nocturnal activity, of which Winnipeg is notorious for, was also notable. Only 1 thunderstorm event occurred after sunset, on July 13, but even that event was not significant. Only occasional lightning strikes occurred.

July continues cold streak


     At 1.0°C below the 1984-2013 average July mean of 19.5°C, July went down as the 10th consecutive month colder than the previous 30-year average. This streak began last October and has now become historical. It is not only the 4th longest streak of its kind since 1872, but also the longest cold streak since the 1880's.

# of consecutive below normal months
18 months
Dec 1882-May 1884
14 months
Jul 1884-Aug 1885
11 months
Oct 1887-Aug 1888
10 months
Oct 2013-Jul 2014
9 months
1949/50, 2008/09 & 2012/13

     Two days were particularly cold: July 1 and 13. Canada Day featured a mean temperature of just 13.1°C, the 8th coldest July 1st since 1873. On July 13, the high was just a measly 15.7°C thanks to afternoon and evening rains. This broke the old record low maximum of 16.7°C in 1884 and 1950.

Funnel clouds & tornadoes


Funnel cloud near Oak Bluff July 5
     Although the month was pretty dull overall storm-wise, there were a few thunderstorm events that brought some close calls to the Winnipeg area. On July 5, thunderstorms developed west of the city and moved east into and just south of the city in the afternoon. A few funnel clouds were reported with these storms. One of these occurred near Oak Bluff just minutes before the storm hit Winnipeg. The funnel reached at least half way to the ground before dissipating. Tornado warnings were issued for Winnipeg and the surrounding area, but luckily nothing touched down. This was also the hottest day of the month with a high of 31.9°C at Winnipeg airport with a maximum humidex of 40.5. Severe thunderstorms had also occurred in southwestern Manitoba in the evening. Hail up to baseball sized occurred. A tornado might have also occurred near Hartney. Wind gusts to 131 km/h were also recorded in Pilot Mound.

     Cold core funnel clouds and weak tornadoes were the story of July 26. One of these occurred just south of the Perimeter near La Salle. It was confirmed as a tornado by Environment Canada. 2 other tornadoes were also confirmed near Waterhen in the Interlake. Other funnel clouds also occurred, such as west of Portage.

Storm east of Brandon July 26
Brandon flooding July 27

Monday, 28 July 2014

Warm & Sunny For the Next Several Days

1st Street in Brandon this morning; fields still flooded
     I just got back from a few days out in Brandon. This would explain the lack of updates since Saturday morning. Looks like water levels on the Assiniboine River in Brandon have finally been dropping steadily in the last week. 1st Street, a major north-south artery in the city finally reopened just last week after being closed due to water flowing over the highway for several days. The highway looks to have been slightly eroded and damaged on the shoulders with only one lane of traffic allowed at this time. With only one road linking areas north of the river with areas south of the river (18th Street) for several days, there certainly was some traffic chaos in the city. This was exacerbated by the closure of a vast section of Victoria Avenue, a major west-east artery, due to major construction. Brandon's population is close to 50,000.

     Saturday also turned out to be a pretty active day across southern Manitoba. 3 tornadoes have been confirmed; 1 near La Salle just south of Winnipeg, and 2 others near Waterhen in the northern Interlake. On our way to Brandon, we did see a funnel cloud near Macgregor mid afternoon, west of Portage. It appeared to be at least half way to the ground, but it was hard to say because we were a fair distance away. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures.

Storm east of Brandon Saturday afternoon

     As for the forecast, there really isn't much to say! High pressure looks to settle in for the remainder of the week with nothing but sun and seasonal to above seasonal temperatures. Can't rule out a few popup showers or storms late week, but the risk is quite low for any given location. We should reach about 25-26°C tomorrow, around 27-28°C Wednesday and around 28-29°C or so on Thursday. A 30°C day might be possible on Friday.

     Lastly, I thought I'd add a couple pictures of beautiful downtown Brandon I took this morning. A lovely city!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Unsettled Saturday; Then Calming Down

     Lots of debris cloud today across southern Manitoba ahead of a troughline in south-central Manitoba this morning. The trough is expected to push through the RRV this afternoon before continuing east to the Ontario border. A thunderstorm or shower cannot be ruled out with this, but widespread activity doesn't look very probable. Looking more isolated in nature.

     Skies will clear this afternoon behind the troughline, allowing temperatures to warm up a bit. We should reach 25-26°C in the late afternoon or early evening.

     Tomorrow looks unsettled as a low pressure system and cold front moves through southern Manitoba. After a fairly sunny start in Winnipeg, clouds will increase midday and a few showers are likely in the afternoon and evening. With a bit of instability available, a few rumbles of thunder cannot be ruled out. However, severe activity is not expected at this time.

     High pressure moves in on Sunday, clearing things out. It will be much cooler with highs of only around 21-22°C.

     Temperatures are expected to gradually warm up during the work week. Highs in the high 20's may be possible by mid-week. It will also be dry with no major threats of rain expected through the work week.

     Average mean temperature at the airport so far this July is 18.5°C. With only normal to slightly below normal conditions into next week, it is very likely that July will finish colder than normal. 1981-2010 normal is 19.6°C. The 1984-2013 average is 19.5°C and as a result, July will likely be the 10th consecutive month below the previous 30-year normal. This is truly remarkable because this would be the longest below normal streak since the infamously cold 1880's.