Saskatchewan

Wetter than normal in Sask. this summer after an incredibly dry spring

It was a wetter and colder summer than usual in most of Saskatchewan, and it was a record-breaking year for hailstorms.

Most areas in Saskatchewan saw more rain than normal this summer

Thunderstorms like this one rolling through Assiniboia, Sask., were a regular occurrence this summer. (Craig Boehm/Twitter)

As the kids head back to school this week, we are starting to close the book on another summer season. 

It's the end of meteorological summer, which generally refers to June, July and August in the Northern Hemisphere, although we do have a few weeks left until the equinox officially kicks of astronomical fall. 

So how did this summer compare?

After an incredibly dry spring — in some areas the driest ever recorded — this summer brought the return of rainfall. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Regina saw 222.7 millimetres of rain in June, July and August. Usually the Queen City would expect to see 182.6 millimetres of rain in that span. 

Severe thunderstorms flooded underpasses in Regina this summer. (Sam Maciag/CBC)

Saskatoon was also slightly wetter than normal this summer with 172.7 millimetres of rain falling compared to the normal 168.7 millimetres. The slightly lower numbers in central Saskatchewan are thanks to a fairly dry August. 

Many areas in Saskatchewan saw more rainfall than normal over June, July and August. (Christy Climenhaga/CBC)

In terms of temperatures, it did end up a little cooler than normal, and in some areas much cooler than normal. 

Key Lake saw its coldest summer on record with average monthly mean temperatures coming in 2.2 C below normal. 

Saskatoon and Regina also ranked a little on the cool side for June, July and August, with August temperatures well below seasonal. 

This year's storm season broke records

Despite the cooler weather, it was a very busy summer for storm chasers. 

Terri Lang, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said this summer saw 168 severe weather events, which is only a bulletin or two behind last year's very busy storm season. 

This year was a record-breaker for the number of severe hailstorms.

"There were 125 reports of severe hail and that's the No. 1 that we have on record for hail," Lang said. "It was a very busy summer."

A July hailstorm in Luseland, Sask., left extensive damage to the siding of the home of deputy mayor Kathy Wurz. (Supplied by Kathy Wurz)

Tornado hunters had a little slower season than last. There were only 10 confirmed tornadoes this summer, including the EF-0 tornado that touched down near Griffin on Labour Day. Last year there were 20 tornadoes in the province. 

What's up next for Sask.?

As we turn our attention toward the fall, we won't say goodbye to warmer temperatures just yet. 

Models are calling for a slightly warmer than normal September, October and November. 

As for precipitation, it will be difficult to say for the coming months, as we are not experiencing a La Niña or El Niño event.

This week will remain relatively unsettled. Although we will see a few dry days in the south, expect another run of rainy weather at the end of the weekend.

Models are calling for slightly warmer than normal temperatures for September, October and November in Saskatchewan. (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christy Climenhaga

CBC Meteorologist

Christy Climenhaga, CBC Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatchewan's Meteorologist, covers weather and climate change stories for the prairies.

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