Nova Scotia

How hot is 2012 in N.S.?

CBC Meteorologist Kalin Mitchell went through the records to find out how summer 2012 compares.

This summer is the fifth hottest in 8 decades

Summer stats in Nova Scotia (Dean Gallent/CBC)

As the hot, arid summer weather unfurls into the final days of August CBC Meteorologist Kalin Mitchell says summer 2012 has been one of the hottest summers in Nova Scotia in almost 80 years.

The unusually warm weather has been a hot topic of conversation this summer, affecting everything from crops, to wildlife, to vacationers and fishermen.

"This year, with an average high temperature so far this summer of 23.5, ends up being the fifth hottest [summer]. With the hottest being 24.2, the average high temperature being 24.2 through June, July and August back in 1999," Mitchell said.

In terms of precipitation, or the lack there of, this has not been the driest summer either.

So far the Halifax area has seen 176 millimetres of rain, that's the seventh lowest amount since 1934.

The driest summer was in 2005, with 93.3 millimetres of rain.   "It has made it challenging for farmers and other agricultural interests," said Mitchell.

The meteorological definition of summer is for the months of June, July, and August. With just a few more days of August left, Mitchell said this summer could be one of the top 10 driest and hottest summers on record in Nova Scotia.

Warm ocean temperatures could extend summer

A senior climatologist with Environment Canada said warm ocean temperatures could mean an extended summer in Atlantic Canada.

Dave Phillips said water temperatures around Nova Scotia are about four degrees higher than usual.

For one, there are more tropical fish travelling up our coast.

As for native species, some fishermen in New Brunswick blame the warm water for the worst herring season in recent memory.

James Mood, president of 1688 Professional Lobster Fishermen’s Association, believes warm water this spring caused lobsters in the province to shed their shells about a month earlier than usual.

"Lobsters this spring, sometime in May were molting in the lobster traps. That has never happened around here and I've been around a few seasons."

Susan Boyde has been swimming at Point Michaud beach for more than 30 years.

"This is just beautiful. It's often really cold down here and kids turn blue, and it's just beautiful," she said.

The warm ocean water may also lead to a more severe hurricane season here in Nova Scotia.

The good news is that Phillips said that beautiful summer weather may extend into the fall.

"Don't write the obituary on summer-like weather now, even though the days are getting shorter. My gosh, we think it will be clearly warmer than normal this fall, and also dryer than normal," said Phillips.

He said air from the Southern U.S. travels north over the Atlantic Ocean and stays warm, likely explaining why the province has seen one of the warmest Augusts in eight decades.

"The good news is that, that warm water stays around.  I mean it doesn't sort of disappear overnight like sometimes what happens over the landmass.  So, what you see this month is going to be there next month and probably the month after that," said Phillips.

"So certainly warmer than normal water temperatures often spell warmer than normal air temperatures and that's clearly what we're seeing for the fall period."

Phillips is predicting warm, dry weather through to November.