Saturday, May 16, 2020

2020 Weather Station contest winners

As if this year wasn't crazy enough already, the winning date for the UW Weather Station Contest was not only the latest date we have seen in the history of the contest, but also the latest first 20°C day in the over 100 years of weather records in the region (the previous record was May 13th, 1919)

The temperature first went above 20°C at 3:15 pm on May 16th.

Out of the 1191 entries, it was Valerie Christie whose guess of 2:15 pm was the closest to the correct time.  While in second place was Mary Grummett.

I have a lot of respect for everyone who chose dates that were much later than any winning date in the past 100 years.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone who entered.

And a question, should we allow people to choose dates in June next year?

Sunday, May 3, 2020

April 2020 Summary


A cold April with just barely average precipitation

The warmth of March carried on into the first week of April, but after that, there was a two week stretch of cold temperatures.  Even though it warmed up a bit right at the end of the month, the overall temperature was still a little over a degree colder than average.

This was the first colder than average month since November of last year, as well it means that 4 of the last 5 Aprils have been colder than average.  Also, the highest temperature for the month was only 17.0°C, the last time it didn’t get warmer than that during April was back in 1995.

If it wasn’t for the 20 mm of rain we got on the last day of the month, it would have been a drier than average April.  But that last day brought the total up to 55.2 mm, below the average of 74.5 mm, but enough to just get it into the average range.

At the end of April, the total for the year of 341.5 is still well above the 264.4 mm we would expect for the first four months of the year.

The only measurable snow during the month was one day with 1.5 cm, this put the total for the snowfall season at 153.5 cm, very close to the average of 159.7 cm.


Summary for April 2020:
Maximum Temperature 17.0°C
Minimum Temperature -7.0°C
Average Daily High Temperature 10.2°C (Long term average 11.5°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -0.4°C (Long term average 0.8°C)
Total Precipitation 55.2 mm (Long term average 74.5 mm)

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


Thursday, April 2, 2020

March 2020 Summary


A warm and wet March

For only the second time in the 100+ year history of weather records in the region, the temperature went above zero every day during the month of March (the other year was 2010).  But it was close as the high only got up to 0.1°C on the 14th, but hey it still counts.

Knowing this, it isn’t surprising that the overall temperature was 3 degrees above average and the fourth warmer than average month in a row.

There was pretty consistent precipitation throughout March, with the total of 79.0 mm being well above the average of 61.0 mm.  This year has started out very wet with 286.3 mm compared to an average of 187.6 mm.

Even with this high total precipitation, with the warm temperatures there was only 12.5 cm snow, less than half the average of 26.5 cm.  Although we average 7 cm of snow in April, if we don’t get any more this year the total for the snowfall season at 152 cm was just below the average of 159.7 cm.

Summary for March 2020:
Maximum Temperature 17.8°C
Minimum Temperature -16.4°C
Average Daily High Temperature 6.7°C (Long term average 3.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -2.7°C (Long term average -5.6°C)
Total Precipitation 79.0 mm (Long term average 61.0 mm)


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


Sunday, March 1, 2020

February 2020 Summary


A warm February with average precipitation and lots of snow

Although there were a few wide temperature swings during the month, the colder parts of those swings only lasted from a few hours to a few days.  This resulted in an overall temperature 0.8 degrees above average.  Continuing the pattern we have seen this winter, we haven’t gone more than 5 days in a row without a temperature above zero, I think this is a reason why so many people think it has not been a hard winter.

The precipitation was pretty steady throughout the month staying within the average range for most of the time.  The total precipitation at 52.6 mm was just below the average of 54.9 mm.

There were a few big snowfalls during the month which brought the total to 66.0 cm which is over twice as much as the average of 30.3 cm.  This also pushed the total snowfall for the season up to 139.5 cm, more than the average of 125.6 cm for this point in the season.

Finally, if you haven’t already, there is still time to enter the annual UW Weather Station Contest.  We are looking for your guess for the first time the temperature will go above 20°C this spring.  Find out all the details and enter here:
http://weather.uwaterloo.ca/2020contest/contest.html
Just remember you have to enter the contest by 2:00 pm on Wednesday, March 4th.


Summary for February 2020:
Maximum Temperature 8.2°C
Minimum Temperature -27.5°C
Average Daily High Temperature -0.2°C (Long term average -1.2°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -9.1°C (Long term average -9.7°C)
Total Precipitation 52.6 mm (Long term average 54.9 mm)

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


Monday, February 3, 2020

January 2020 Summary


A record wet January with a lot of warmth as well 

I know that the precipitation was the big story of this month, but first let’s examine just how warm it was.  At almost 4 degrees above average, it was the 6th warmest January in the over 100 years of weather records in the region and the warmest one since 2006.  During the month there was really only one really cold day, the 20th when it briefly went down just a bit below -20°C.

Of course the big story of the month was the heavy rain that fell on January 11th, it started in the morning and lasted the entire day, ending with a total of 79.6 mm.  This was almost double the previous record single day’s precipitation in January of 43.0 mm on January 15th, 1995 and more than the average for the entire month.  Not only that, it was the wettest day for any month since July 7, 1991 when 82.0 mm came down.

However, it was also wet the rest of the month, as even without the 11th the precipitation for January still would have been above average. As it stands, the 154.7 mm was more than 2.5 times the average of 65.2 mm, not surprisingly this was the wettest January on record in the region, eclipsing the previous record of 134.9 mm in 1929.

Even though there was lots of rain, we also had 38.5 cm of snowfall in January, which is less than the average of 43.7 cm for the month.  The total snowfall since the beginning of the fall is 73.5 cm, below the average of 95.3 cm for this point in the snowfall season.


Summary for January 2020:
Maximum Temperature 11.0°C
Minimum Temperature -20.3°C
Average Daily High Temperature 0.8°C (Long term average -2.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -5.8°C (Long term average -10.3°C)
Total Precipitation 154.7 mm (Long term average 65.2 mm)

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