Warm St. John's summer goes toe to toe with 2012

Andrew Robinson
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Two boys play near the rolling waves at Middle Cove Beach on July 17. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Many in the St. John’s metro area may suspect this summer’s weather has not been quite as warm as it was for that same season in 2012, but data from Environment Canada shows it has been a close race.

As of Sunday, Aug. 18, there have been 50 days this year in

St. John’s where the temperature has reached at least 20 C.

That data includes readings from the St. John’s West weather station and St. John’s International Airport.

As of that same date last year, Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital city experienced 52 days where the maximum temperature exceeded 20 C.

According to a senior climat-

ologist with Environment Canada interviewed last September by The Telegram, there were 61 days in the summer of 2012 — covering a period from June to September — that exceeded 20 C in St. John’s. In the summer of 2011, there were 43 such days.

Excluding data recorded prior to June 21 for both years, the 2013 summer is actually ahead of 2012 for days with maximum temperatures equalling or exceeding 20 C — 43 compared to 41 as of Aug. 18.

It remains up for debate whether 2013 will reach that end-of-summer 2012 figure.

“As far as trends go, I could see this summer being similar to last summer in (respect to) the number of days where you get 20-plus degree temperatures, but whether it will reach that number from last year or exceed it kind of depends on the weather system of the day or the weather problem of the day,” said David Neil, an Environment Canada meteorologist based in Gander.

The summer of 2012 and this year’s differ when it comes to rainfall. While last summer was quite dry, total rainfall amounts thus far since June have increased substantially by comparison.

From the beginning of June until Aug. 17, 2013, St. John’s International Airport recorded 281.7 millimetres of precipitation. That’s a 66 per cent increase over the same 78-day period last year, when 169.4 millimetres of rainfall accumulated.

“I know we’ve had a couple of systems this summer that have tapped into some more tropical air,” said Neil. “Those (systems) usually tend to be quite a bit wetter than normal.”

Based on data collected at the

St. John’s West weather station, temperatures for August have been thus far neck and neck, with the average mean temperature hovering around 18 C for both 2012 and 2013 as of Aug. 17.

However, there have been 15 days in St. John’s that have reached at least 20 C as of Sunday, compared to 13 over the course of the first 18 days of August in 2012.

According to Neil, temperatures are expected to cool down in

St. John’s for a little while before they once again rise above 20 C.

“We have a system coming now over Labrador that’s actually going to drag down some colder air going into the next two or three days for  St. John’s, but then after that ...  we get back into a nice, warm, southwesterly flow,” said Neil. “So we could be looking at another few days where you could get temperatures of 20 C or higher.”

As of 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Environment Canada was forecasting a high of 23 C for Monday, with temperatures dipping to highs of 12 C and 19 C for Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. The long-range forecast calls for temperatures to move back into the low 20s by the end of this week.


Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Environment Canada, International Airport

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Jack
    August 19, 2013 - 10:00

    Earlier this year, since Environment Canada and "The Weather Network" stated that Summer 2013 is not supposed to be as warm as last year, but yet, this Summer is as warm as last year and even warmer, let it be a lesson never to trust "The Weather Network", Palmorex, and Environment Canada seasonal forecasts. In fact, so far, St. John's had 50 days with temperatures above 20 degrees, which is almost comparable to last year with 52 days above 20 degrees. Secondly, St. John's had record time periods of humidex readings above 20 degrees, indicating that not only have Environment Canada lied to Atlantic Canadians, but our weather is becoming more and more Americanized as these readings are common in the United States but not Northeastern Canada. Lessons learned, no more lies Environment Canada and "The Weather Network" as their forecasts are becoming less and less reliable.