Regina experiences driest July in 130 years

Monthly roundup of the hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan and wet weather in the north.

July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan

Regina had the second driest July on record, behind July 1887. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.

Regina saw its driest July in 130 years with only 1.8 millimetres of precipitation during the month. That makes it the second driest July on record, behind July 1887 when 1.5 millimetres of rain fell.

It's almost like nature has forgotten how to rain in southern Saskatchewan.- David Phillips, senior climatologist, Environment Canada

Both Regina and Swift Current have seen a record dry period from November to July.

Moose Jaw also broke records with its driest July on record, with around 4.3 millimetres of precipitation reported.

While the south has been begging for rain, the north has seen too much. 

Buffalo Narrows received 174 millimetres of rain this month — more than double the amount of rain it would usually see.

The heavy rain in the north has been just as persistent as the south's dry weather, with Meadow Lake reporting the second wettest April to July on record.

Dry conditions have dominated the weather picture in southern Saskatchewan, while the north has seen unusually wet conditions.

Above average temperatures 

On top of the dry conditions in southern Saskatchewan, much of the province has been basking in the heat.

Daily highs in Regina averaged around four degrees warmer than climate normals in July, with 11 days above 30 C. Regina normally sees around five days above that temperature.

Regina also experienced its hottest temperature in 28 years, as the mercury climbed to 37.7 C on Sunday.

David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, says that while those afternoon temperatures have been unusually hot in Regina, the nights have offered some relief.

"The nights were actually a little cooler than normal," said Phillips. "It really does show you the kind of climate you have: a desert — dry, semi-arid, almost like Pheonix, Ariz. — where the days can be very hot, and in this case bone dry and not a cloud in the sky. All that heat from the day radiates into space ... It left the nights relatively cool."

That being said, Regina experienced its warmest overnight low at 18.6 C on Sunday.

What is August looking like?

So far, this trend of hotter and drier weather looks to continue into August. 

"We think the flavour of August looks like July in a way — I mean, warmer than normal," said Phillips. "The dryness — that's the worry. It's almost like nature has forgotten how to rain in southern Saskatchewan."

Forecasts indicate the warmer-than-normal temperatures could continue into the fall. (Environment Canada)
Drier than normal weather could persist into the fall, too. (Environment Canada)