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In Labrador, will 2017 be remembered as the year without a summer?

Cool temperatures, wet conditions and stubborn sea ice kept the swimsuits in people's closets

Foggy Lanse Amour

Grey, cold weather like this seen in L'Anse Amour back in June was typical in much of Labrador this summer, according to David Phillips of Environment Canada. (Twitter/@wo_rudolph1)

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If you live in Labrador, you might be feeling a bit sun-deprived now that Labour Day is just around the corner.

Your feelings are justified. According to Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips, this has been one of the worst summers on record for the region.

"Canadians love to complain about the weather, but boy, this summer people in Labrador may be doing it but they're not doing it without reason," he told CBC's Labrador Morning"It's almost as if nature has forgotten [Labrador] this summer."

Grey and cold in Lab West

Phillips said the Labrador West region fared the worst, with August smashing the previous record for the wettest summer with 40 more millimetres of rain than back in the summer of 2011.

It was also a summer for wearing sweaters, with some areas of western Labrador actually experiencing freezing temperatures at some points.

"It wasn't cold enough to snow in July but, my gosh, I think there were reports of snow," Phillips said. "It was almost as if there was nothing to remind you of summer-like weather."

Pinware River provincial park

Mounds of snow were still keeping campers away from Pinware River provincial park in southern Labrador on June 14. (Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation/Submitted)

In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, in central Labrador, things were a little closer to normal, but Phillips said there was still an unusual number of wet days.

He says the weather was unsettled in the region all summer, with the temperature going above 25 degrees only 11 times.

"There was one day where the temperature roared up to 32.4 back on July 18," he said. "Well, gee, that was one day so I hope people were out drinking beer in their muscle shirts and tank tops, because that was it."

View from International Ice Patrol

Sea ice along the coast of Labrador lasted well into June this year, an ominous start to a summer that never really happened. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

The same was true along the coast, where Phillips said sea ice that persisted well into June cut short what ended up being a cool and and wet summer overall.

"I'm trying to scratch the surface to find something that was at least good about the weather, but hey, it was tough," he said.

Good news for fall?

Phillips said even though August is over, there is still some hope that Labradorians could feel the warmth of the sun again before Old Man Winter drags everyone into his cold, months-long embrace.

That's because Labour Day weekend looks like it could be warm and dry, and early forecasts are showing a September that looks average.

"I wouldn't write the obituary on summer-like weather yet," he said. "If everything was fair in weather, you'd expect the warmest September, October, November on record. But we know that's not going to happen."

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