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The bummer of a summer that was 1992

Canadians eagerly wait for summer each year. But in 1992 they waited ... and waited some more.

It was cold, wet and gloomy but nobody was exactly sure why

Wet, cold, cloudy: June and July 1992 were a disappointment for Canadians who love summer 2:21

Canadians eagerly wait for summer each year. But in 1992 they waited ... and waited some more.

A week into August that year, the CBC's Paul Hunter, described by host Knowlton Nash as "our new Ontario reporter," called it "the darkest summer in a century."

"The temperature is the coldest since 1891," said Bryan Smith of the Ontario Climate Centre, talking about Toronto. "The second-wettest on record ... and the cloudiest on record."  

"It's a question we don't really have an answer for," said Bryan Smith of the Ontario Climate Centre. (The National/CBC Archives)

And it was no better in most of the rest of the country.

A Fredericton man described June and July in one word, with a chuckle: "Wet." 

St. John's, Quebec City, and Winnipeg were all below average, with the latter experiencing "the coolest July since 1884."

Warmer out west

But summer had shown itself farther west and farther north, and Hunter said Vancouver had been warmer than normal for July by a degree.

And in Yellowknife, two women were wading in a lake on a day that was blazing with sunshine.

"Most of the days have been really hot," said one of the women.

"It's been pretty hot," said a woman in Yellowknife, which did not follow the same summer trend as most of Canada. (The National/CBC Archives)
 

The question remained: why the weird summer?

"In the Philippines, last year's Mount Pinatubo volcano spewed dust into the sky some say is blocking the sun's rays around the world," said Hunter.

A shift in the jet stream above Canada was an alternate explanation.

But the sun that was shining as Hunter summed up his report was "a ray of hope for the rest of the summer."

According to the Globe and Mail, production of eight major crops across Canada was down by seven per cent because of the bad weather.