A 'roulette wheel' of cold air that's ruining summer is set to stop spinning

Weeks of heavy rain, dull skies and intermittent thunderstorms have some Edmontonians despairing over a summer that has yet to arrive. 

'It's become a psychological downer'

After some cold and wet weather, Edmonton will begin to dry out next week. (David Donnelly/CBC)

Summer in Edmonton is starting to feel like monsoon season.

Weeks of heavy rain, intermittent thunderstorms, grey skies and cool temperatures have some despairing over a summer that has yet to arrive. 

Sandals have been traded for galoshes. Jackets and woolen sweaters have become summer fashion necessities.

"It's become a psychological downer," said Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "If it's not raining, it's looking like rain.

"Things were all right up until the first day of summer. And since then there have been two dry days in Edmonton and double the amount of rain. It's a double whammy." 

'It kind of seduces you'

A low-pressure system over northern Alberta, called an upper trough, is to blame, Phillips said. 

The "stubborn" system has been pulling in frigid air from the far north and the Pacific coast. Such systems come with a dash of sunshine and heat — just enough to feel cruel. 

"It's like a roulette wheel and it spins around and around," Phillips said in an interview Wednesday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.  

"There is cool weather, wet weather, and then all of a sudden it will move, and then there is some sunny weather. 

"It kind of seduces you to the golf course or the picnic area only to be faced with more rain, so it's kind of frustrating." 

Edmontonians have faced days of heavy rain and colder than average temperatures. (Wallis Snowdon/CBC)

But don't despair. The long-range forecast calls for summer to be hotter than average and the Edmonton area should begin to dry out next week.

"A real change and this system will come in and bring some glorious weather and maybe you will forget these miserable weeks," Phillips said.

And Edmontonians can take some solace.

"It could be worse, you could be Calgary," Phillips said. "They're not going to see any sun for seven days."

About the Author

Wallis Snowdon


Wallis Snowdon is a digital journalist with CBC Edmonton. She has nearly a decade of experience reporting behind her. Originally from New Brunswick, her journalism career has taken her from Nova Scotia to Fort McMurray. Share your stories with Wallis at wallis.snowdon@cbc.ca