Climatologist says Calgary summer should be warm and dry
Wet, cool May long weekend an exception to warmer summer forecast
The weather this summer in Calgary and southern Alberta should resemble the warmth and sun we enjoyed in April, rather than the rain and snow received over the May long weekend, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada is predicting.
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"You've had more precipitation in the last six days than you've had the previous six months, and that's money in the bank," Dave Phillips told the Calgary Eyeopener.
"So all that cursing you were doing this weekend, you'll be blessing it come later on in the summer where it turns out to be warmer and maybe drier than normal."
Nearly 30 millimetres of rain fell on the city between Friday and Monday while areas west of Calgary were blanketed under several centimetres of snow early Sunday.
That was a distinct change from the 28 C highs reached three times in Calgary in mid-April and early May — more than 10 C above the seasonal average.
"I would describe it as a good news story," Phillips said about the crummy long weekend weather.
"But it could be worse, 106 years ago, on this (May long) weekend there was 36 cm of snow that fell in Calgary, so hey, a little bit of a dusting or a little bit of snow in the air shouldn't affect you guys."
Phillips predicts it will be a warm, dry summer, good news for outdoor enthusiasts, but not so good for farmers and ranchers needing water for livestock and crops.
"You always look for the water temperatures, that's really the clue" he said.
"When we look at the oceans, if they're warmer than normal it will often affect the season ahead."
"The other thing too I think is very important is we see all the private weather services, the Americans, the Europeans, are singing from the same song sheet.
"So everybody is going to be all right or all wrong on this one."
That doesn't mean every day will be sunny and hot come July and August.
"You can't use the season forecast to dictate what the weather is going to be for a specific date," said Phillips.