Now, let's look at the 2012 thunderstorm season, starting with its length:
The thunderstorm season began earlier than normal; it typically does not begin until April for most areas (normals can be found here). This was in large part thanks to the unprecedented warmth we experienced in March as the jet stream rose way further north than usual. The mid-March start was also about a month earlier than in 2010 and 2011.
It was a loud start as well. Thunderstorms on March 19 were widespread and dumped torrential downpours and gave frequent lightning. This event brought Winnipeg its earliest recorded thunderstorm on record.
Now, how about the frequency of thunderstorms, severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings per region:
Southwestern Manitoba was the 'stormiest' with 74 thunderstorms days and 19 days with severe thunderstorm warnings. This continues the trend of the past couple years as this region had the most in both 2010 and 2011 as well. For southern Manitoba as a whole, there were 34 severe thunderstorm warning days, much more than in 2011 when there were only 24. However, 2011 was abnormally less active. I do not have the actual numeric normal considering I only have 3 years of data.
In the city of Winnipeg specifically, there were about 25 or 26 thunderstorm days in 2012, which is right around the normal of 27.
Now, let's take the 109 thunderstorms days, 34 severe thunderstorm days and 2 tornado warning days in southern Manitoba as a whole and divide it monthly. Here's what we get:
As per usual, June, July and August were the most active months of the year.
|Arborg possible tornado June 16th by Kyle Kearney|
The only possible tornado to have touched down was in Arborg on June 16th. However, it was unconfirmed by Environment Canada. As a result, not one single tornado was confirmed in Manitoba this year. This is much below the normal of 7 to 10 tornadoes in Manitoba per year.
To finish off, here's a couple notable thunderstorm events this year:
1-Swan River July 11 severe thunderstorms dump 77 mm of rain, causing severe flooding
3-July 29 windstorm
4-August 1 windstorm
5-July 25 Steinbach rainstorm dumps up to 111 mm of rain in a couple hours causing severe flooding
6-June 9 hailstorm
I will have a country-wide severe thunderstorm season summary up in the next couple weeks.