Montreal

Why has it been raining so much in Montreal?

It was a wetter-than-average spring, but over the course of the summer, things will even things out when it comes to precipitation, says Environment Canada forecaster.

Could it be climate change? Too soon to tell, but things should even out by summer's end

Clouds loom over the Church of Saint-Pierre-Apôtre in downtown Montreal, which has seen a rainier spring than normal and we're not sure why yet. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

It started with the floods and it feels like the rain just hasn't let up. 

If clouds and rain have been hanging over most of your weekend gatherings, or you've been bringing an umbrella on your commutes to work, it's because recently, it's been rainier than usual. 

"It was a very wet spring," says Environment Canada forecaster Denis Thibodeau, stating what most of us in the city have noticed. 

In both May and June, Montreal had more rain than the average. In May, about 124 millimetres fell, compared to the 81-millimetre average, and in June, 135 millimetres fell, above the average of 87.

It's not that there have been huge downpours, Thibodeau said, but more so that showers have been more frequent, spread throughout the week.

Why, though, is another story.

"The answer is I don't know," he said with a chuckle. 

The greyer skies and wetter days are something climate scientists will be analyzing down the road and may be able to point to specific systems that caused them, like global warming, he explained.

'Things that are normal become not normal'

While most may think it refers to drastic changes in temperatures, Thibodeau says climate change manifests itself by "breaking up weather patterns."

"This is the kind of thing climate scientists have been talking about for decades," he says. "Things that are normal become not normal anymore." 

But he says it's too early to say whether the increase in rain is directly linked to that phenomenon.

The cloudy skies hanging over the city have persisted all spring. They've cooled down days and warmed nights by keeping the temperature in. (Andrea Bellemare/CBC)

The extra clouds may have affected temperatures, too. The days' highest temperatures have been lower than usual and the lows have been higher. 

Thibodeau says that's because during the day, clouds block the sun from warming the air and at night, they keep the heat in. 

"It's like throwing a blanket over and keeping the heat in or like covering your pool at night, where the water's going to stay warmer," he said.

The forecast for the rest of the summer came out June 30 and shows normal weather, with things evening out, precipitation-wise, Thibodeau said. 

"Hopefully — put the emphasis on the word hopefully — we've turned a corner."​

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