Monday, April 3, 2017

March 2017 Summary


A wet March that was colder than February

Somebody better check the calendar because it seems that somebody switched the weather for February and March.  In fact for only the 5th time in the 100 years of records in the region, the average temperature was lower in March than it was in February (the last time this happened was in 1984).

The overall temperature was almost half a degree below average, but this is still within the average range.  However, this was the first time there was an overall temperature that was even a little below the average since April of last year.

It was a wet month with 90.2 mm of total precipitation compared to the average of 61.0 mm.  Interestingly, even with the cooler temperatures, a lot of that precipitation came down as rain instead of snow.  We only got 12 cm of snow compared to the average of 26.5 cm, this brings the total for the season up to 125 cm which is less than the 150 cm average for the end of March.


Summary for March 2017:
Maximum Temperature 17.1°C
Minimum Temperature -15.4°C
Average Daily High Temperature 2.7°C (Long term average 3.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -5.6°C (Long term average -5.6°C)
Total Precipitation 90.2 mm (Long term average 61.0 mm)


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

Saturday, March 4, 2017

February 2017 Summary

The warmest February ever 

In what should not be a surprise to anyone, it was the warmest February that we have experienced in the 100+ years of records in the region.  The first half of the month saw temperatures that oscillated both above and below zero, but it was not until the 18th that the crazy heat came in.  The month ended with 12 days where the high temperature was over zero including some days that were over 15 degrees above the average.

Overall the temperature was 4.4 degrees above average which was almost half a degree more than the previous warmest February back in 1998.  The high of 15.1°C on the 23rd was the highest February temperature we have ever seen in the region, in second place was the 15.0°C which happened the day before.

The precipitation total was 68.0 mm, just enough to put it into the above average range.  Given the high temperatures, it is not surprising that we got about half the average amount of snow during the month (17.5 cm compared to 30.3 cm).  Even though the last 2 months have only seen half the average snowfall, the snowy December means that that the total snowfall of 113 cm is only a little less than the 125.6 cm we would expect at this point in the snowfall season.


Summary for February 2017:
Maximum Temperature 15.1°C
Minimum Temperature -15.3°C
Average Daily High Temperature 3.4°C (Long term average -1.2°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -5.6°C (Long term average -9.7°C)
Total Precipitation 68.0 mm (Long term average 54.9 mm)


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

Friday, March 3, 2017

2017 Weather Station Contest is on!


The 2017 edition of the UW weather station contest is now on!

Can you guess for the first time the first time the weather station will record a temperature of 20C?

Find out all the details and enter the contest here:

http://weather.uwaterloo.ca/2017_contest/contest.html

Don't delay - you have to enter the contest by Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 2:00 pm.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January 2017 Summary

A wet, warm, and “dreary” January

There were four cold days in the first part of the month, but that was about it for the really cold weather.  As well as a few days in the high single digits we also saw 12 days in a row above zero, which is something that we haven’t seen in January since 1944.  Put that all that together and it is not surprising that overall it was over 3 degrees above average, making it the warmest January since 2006.

With the 111.2 mm of precipitation in the month it was the second highest total in the last 18 years (2013 had a bit more with 114.7 mm), while most of it (81.4 mm) fell during the very wet first half of the month.  Of that precipitation there was only 20 cm of snow, less than half of the average of 43.7 cm.

Then we get to the “dreary” question.  The background is that at the UW weather station we measure the amount of incoming solar radiation, which is correlated to the number of hours of sunshine but not technically exactly the same thing.  Also keep in mind that this is the only source of this kind of data in the area, so records only go back to the start of the weather station in 1998, unlike precipitation and temperature which have records going back to 1915. 

So based on what we measure, the overall average of 47 Watts per square metre of incoming solar radiation was the lowest January value in the history of the station and much lower than the average of 81.7 W/m2.  Also I made an arbitrary and non-scientific criteria that if a day never had a reading of over 200 W/m2 then it was a “dreary” day.  Using this, the number of dreary days we had was 13 this January putting it well above the average of 7.5 and again the most we have seen in that past 19 years.


Summary for January 2017:
Maximum Temperature 8.2°C
Minimum Temperature -20.9°C
Average Daily High Temperature -0.1°C (Long term average -2.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -6.4°C (Long term average -10.3°C)
Total Precipitation 111.2 mm (Long term average 65.2 mm)

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

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Longest January streak of above zero days in a while

As of January 22nd we have had 8 days in a row of days with above zero temperatures and the current forecast is for 4 more.  If we get to 12 days it will be longest streak of above zero days since we had 13 back in 1944 from Jan 19 to 31.

Note that this only counts days in January, for instance 2007 started with 8 days above zero, but this was after 23 to end off 2006, so the total streak there was 31 days, just not all in January.