Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July 2018 Summary

A hot and very dry July

We have now had our third month in a row of above average temperatures with July coming in at 1.5 degrees warmer than average.  However, it was the tale of the two halves of the month with the first half being 2 degrees warmer than the second half.  That first half of the month also saw all of the 10 days that were above 30°C, something we only see 3.5 times on average in July.

The bigger story was the lack of rain during the first 15 days of the month, which combined with the high temperatures, made it hard for non-irrigated vegetation.  We broke that drought with 23.4 mm on the 16th followed by what was a pretty average rest of July.  However, this could not fill the deficit and the final total of 51.2 mm was only a little more than half the average total of 98.6 mm.

But even as hot and dry as that seems, note that we only have to go back to 2012 to find a July that was both hotter and drier.

This dry month brought the total precipitation for the year of 517.2 mm back down closer the average of 509.0 mm.

Summary for July 2018:
Maximum Temperature 32.9°C
Minimum Temperature 8.4°C
Average Daily High Temperature 27.9°C (Long term average 26.0°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 15.1°C (Long term average 14.0°C)
Total Precipitation 51.2 mm (Long term average 98.6 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1981-2010 data for the Waterloo-Wellington Airport)

Monday, July 2, 2018

June 2018 Summary

A hot and dry June

While coming down from May, which was 4.5 degrees above average, June was still more than 1 degree above average.  We have to go back to 2009 for the last time there was a June with below average overall temperature.

This year there were 4 days above 30°C, while the high temperature of 33.4°C on the 17th was the warmest June day since 2005 (when it was 33.5°C on the 27th).  That was almost topped on the last day of the month when it got up to 33.2°C.

It was a dry month that included a streak of 12 days when we received less than half of a millimetre of rain.  Even the 20 mm of rain that came down on the 24th only managed to put the total precipitation for the month (56.6 mm) just below the bottom of the average range (60.5 mm).

For the first half of the year, the total precipitation we have seen of 466.2 mm is not that far above what we would expect for the halfway mark of 416.1 mm.

Also a note about the sad news that professor Ric Soulis of the University of Waterloo Civil Engineering department passed away during June.  It is no exaggeration to say that without Ric there would be no UW Weather Station.  It was through his vision and guidance that the idea for the weather station was born and implemented.  He will be greatly missed by the many who got to know him throughout the years.

Summary for June 2018:
Maximum Temperature 33.4°C
Minimum Temperature 7.5°C
Average Daily High Temperature 24.4°C (Long term average 23.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 13.0°C (Long term average 11.5°C)
Total Precipitation 56.6 mm (Long term average 82.4 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1981-2010 data for the Waterloo-Wellington Airport)

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ric Soulis (1949-2018)

I am saddened to share the news that Professor Ric Soulis passed away on June 21.  It is no exaggeration to say that without Ric there would be no UW Weather Station.  It was through his vision and guidance that the idea for the weather station was born and implemented.

My personal relationship with Ric started when he gave a 4th year Geological Engineering student an opportunity to complete an undergraduate thesis under his supervision back in 1990.  This then led to a Masters under his co-supervision with Dr. Nick Kouwen and afterward employment for over 10 years principally on the Mackenzie Basin GEWEX project (for which we co-authoured the chapter on Hydrologic modelling in the final report).  During this employment I also completed a part-time PhD under his supervision.  He always had a positive attitude towards life even given his struggles with post-polio syndrome that limited his physical activities.  He always made the time for any student to give them answers to a question or just share his views on science.

 I will forever be grateful for all the opportunities, mentorship, and friendship he provided me over these many years.

Frank Seglenieks
UW Weather Station Coordinator

Details of the arrangements can be found here:

Sunday, June 3, 2018

May 2018 Summary

The hottest May on record with average precipitation 

Well that was some weather whiplash!  After April which was 4 degrees below average (the coldest in the history of the region) we just experienced a May that was almost 4.5 degrees above average.  This was now the hottest May that we have seen in the local records which go back to 1915, beating 1991 by almost a full degree.

There were only 4 colder than average days during the month and it ended with a streak of 8 days above 25°C, something that has only happened one other time during May back in 1975.  There were also 3 of those days above 30°C which has only happened about 5 times in our region (but how about 1962 when there were 5 days above 30°C in a row).

There were 2 really wet days with precipitation over 20 mm (the 4th and 31st) leading to a total for the month of 88.1 mm, a little over the average of 82.3 mm, but still within the average range.  We have now had 409.6 mm of precipitation this year, a pretty good bit above the average of 340.2 mm for this time of the year.

Also, we didn’t have a temperature below zero during May, so that means the last one occurred on April 30.  This is on the early end of the range of Apr 26 to May 23 we have seen in 20+ years of data at the UW Weather Station.

Summary for May 2018:
Maximum Temperature 31.3°C
Minimum Temperature 1.9°C
Average Daily High Temperature 23.5°C (Long term average 18.5°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 10.3°C (Long term average 6.4°C)
Total Precipitation 88.1 mm (Long term average 82.3 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1981-2010 data for the Waterloo-Wellington Airport)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Winner for 2018 UW Weather Station Contest

It took a while, but finally on May 1st at 10:00 am the temperature went over 20°C for the first time this year when we saw a reading of 20.1°C.  This was much later than the previous latest date for the 20 years we have been running the contest, which was April 19th (in 2006).  Of course if we look back in the history of records in the region if there had been a weather station contest in 1919 the winner would only have been crowned on May 13th.

So congratulations to Will Gilbert who guessed a date that was almost 2 weeks later than the previous latest date in the contest, I highly respect that he was not afraid to choose a date outside of the recent historical pattern.

Here is his explanation of why he chose that date:

I figured that this year the weather was different from the past.
December was very cold, but the second half of February was very warm;
in fact, it was 16°C a few days before I voted. However that was about 6°C higher that it had ever been previously on that date, and it did not look as if that warm trend would go into March.

In second place was Greg Friday who also chose May 1st, but just a later time.

Both the winners will be receiving prizes graciously supplied by the UW Shop.

Thanks to everyone who entered and as always enjoy the weather.