Monday, December 21, 2009

Fall 2009 Summary

A warm fall with average precipitation and not a lot of snow

This fall really showed that you can’t take what happens during the first month and extrapolate it to the rest of the season. Up to mid-October it was very cold and very wet, however since then it has turned around.

For temperature, November was quite a bit warmer than average and the beginning of December was moderately warmer making the overall season a full degree above average.

The most surprising thing about the temperature was that the lowest we saw was only -11.9 °C, where we often see it dip down approaching -20 °C or below during the season. This was the highest low temperature of the season since 2001 when it only got down to -8.6 °C.

Looking at precipitation, it really dried out after that wet start and the final total (218.3 mm) was very close to the average (220.9 mm). Of course everybody wants to know about the snow, and in this regard the total for the season (25 cm) was a lot less than last year (96 cm) and the average for fall (40 cm).

Summary for Fall 2009:
Maximum Temperature 24.1 °C
Minimum Temperature -11.9 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 8.8 °C (Long term average 8.3 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 1.0 °C (Long term average -0.5 °C)
Total Precipitation 218.3 mm (Long term average 220.9 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1970-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Almost the end of fall

Winter officially starts on Monday, so it's time to start looking at the stats from the fall.

It is looking like it will come out to be a bit warmer than average and pretty much average for precipitation.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A cold day

It was a really cold day on Friday with the daytime high only going up to -8.2°C, this was the lowest high temperature since March 2nd.

Combined with the wind it felt like it was around -20 most of the day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Welcome to the earliest sunset of the year

Although there is no doubt that the day with the least total amount of daylight is December 21st (the winter solstice), the earliest sunset of the year actually occurs on December 8th.

The reason has to do with something called the Equation of Time and depends on the tilt of the earth and the shape of its orbit around the sun. You can read the detailed explanation of why here.

Although the time the sun sets will be getting later from now on until the summer, the sunrise will continue to be later and later until early January. Also remember that at this time of the year there is usually only a few seconds to a minute difference between the sunrise and sunset times from day to day. So by the end of the month the sunset will only be about 10 minutes later than it is today.

Friday, December 4, 2009

There goes the streak

Well that was a cold day as it only got up to 0.3°C on December 4th (but that happened at 4 am ** edit make that 1 am ** so you might have missed it).

Not only was this the lowest daytime high since April 7th, but it also broke a stretch of 27 straight days with above average daytime highs.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 2009 Summary

A very warm and dry month with the lowest snowfall ever (possibly, maybe?)

November started out with 6 colder than average days, however that changed when the rest of the month (24 days) all came in warmer than average. Overall it was an amazing 3 degrees above average making it the warmest November since 2001. It was also the most above average month since January of 2008.

It was also the driest month since 2001 with only 34.8 mm of precipitation including a dry stretch that lasted 12 days. Almost all of it came in the form of rain as we only recorded a single day with some trace snow (November 27th).

So now the big question: was this the least amount of snow ever in November for the region? Unfortunately, it is not an easy question to answer as it all depends on how you interpret the trace readings of snow you often get at this time of year. A trace amount of snow is when there is less than 0.5 cm but definitely some on the ground. There have been many years with less than 1 cm of snow in November, for instance in 2006 we only had 0.5 cm.

Looking back in the long term records the last time there was 0 cm of snow was back in 1963. However, the daily records show that there were 6 days with trace snow in 1963 and going back further I was never able to find a year with 0 cm of snow and less than 3 days of trace snow. So using that as a criterion we can say that this November had the least amount of snow of November in the recorded history of the region which goes back to 1914.

The total precipitation for the year (819.5 mm) is very close to the average (830.3 mm). So unless we get less than 15 mm or over 350 mm in December, this year will end up in the average range for precipitation.


Summary for November 2009:
Maximum Temperature 18.0 °C
Minimum Temperature -5.0 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 9.3 °C (Long term average 5.9 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 0.9 °C (Long term average -1.6 °C)
Total Precipitation 34.8 mm (Long term average 82.3 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Friday, November 27, 2009

Next week's picture a bit clearer

Gotta give this one to Environment Canada as The Weather Network forecast has now dropped to within a few degrees of the Environment Canada predictions for Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What's going to happen early next week?

An interesting split in the forecasts for next Monday and Tuesday.

As of 4 pm on Wednesday afternoon Environment Canada is predicting a high of 2°C and a low of 0°C for Monday with flurries or rain. For Tuesday they call for 30% chance of flurries with the high temperature of only 1°C and a low temperature of -2°C.

Now we look over to the Weather Network and they have highs of 5°C and 8°C with lows of 2°C and 1°C for Monday and Tuesday with all the precipitation coming down as rain.

So for both days the range of temperatures in the forecasts don't even overlap, I guess we will find out next week who was correct (or maybe it will end up somewhere in the middle as it often does).








Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

A warm and dry November so far

With the first 15 days of November in the books it has been quite a turn around since October. So far we are over 3 degrees above average, with 3 days more than 10 degrees warmer than we would expect at this time.

Also, where has the precipitation gone? Only 7.2 mm so far, going to be tough to get to the average of 82.3 mm for the month.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A November day hotter than any one in October

The high temperature on the 8th got up to 18 degrees which was hotter than any day we saw in October and was the warmest day since September 27th.

Also as pointed out in the comments on the October summary by Rob Kuhn: the temperature didn't go above 20 degrees in all of October, which hasn't happened since 1987.

And in fact the 17.2 degree extreme high temperature this October was almost the record lowest since records began in the area over 90 years ago. We ended up tying 1925 when 17.2 was also the warmest temperature seen in October, but in every other year there was at least a single day that was warmer. My apologies for not recognizing this and putting it in the summary.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

October 2009 Summary

October was wet with cold days and warm nights

Just looking at the overall average temperature for the month it was about half a degree below average, this is still within the average range so it was officially an average month for temperature.

However, digging a bit deeper into the numbers, it was another month where there was a large difference between the daily high and low temperatures. The daily high temperatures were 1.5 degrees below average while the daily low temperatures were actually 0.4 degrees above average. As I have pointed out in the past, I’m of the belief that most people are more aware of the high temperature of the day and thus would have perceived October as a very cold month.

Looking at the graph of the temperature, you can really see the week between the 11th and the 17th where it was more than 5 degrees below average and how the temperature rebounded in the last half of the month. The first frost of the year happened on the evening of the 11th, a little later than the average date which is the first of the month.

During the first 10 or so days of the month it looked like we might be on track for a record wet October, but then almost 2 weeks of dry weather put in an end to that. A few storms in the last week put the total precipitation for the month at 84.4 mm, more than enough greater than the average of 67.1 mm to classify it as above average.

With the total precipitation for the year (784.7 mm) still close to the average (748.3 mm), it will take some pretty extraordinary numbers in these last couple of months of the year to get us out of the average range.


Summary for October 2009:
Maximum Temperature 17.2 °C
Minimum Temperature -4.7 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 11.7 °C (Long term average 13.2 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 3.2 °C (Long term average 2.9 °C)
Total Precipitation 84.4 mm (Long term average 67.1 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)




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Friday, October 16, 2009

Coldest daytime high in 6 months

The high temperature on the 15th was only 3.4°C, that was the coldest high temperature since April 7th when it was -1.5°C.

Monday, October 12, 2009

No doubt about that one

Sometimes the first frost day just kind of skirts below zero for a few 15 minute readings. But this time with the temperature below zero for a good 11 hours starting on the night of the 11th there is little doubt that our frost free season is over.

Historically the first frost day in the area usually happens around October 1st, so we are a bit later than average. Looking at the forecast it looks like there are going to be some more cold night coming up.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September 2009 Summary

A hot and dry September

This was a month with two distinctly different parts; the first two thirds had slightly above average temperatures and a lot of sun (on the temperature graph you can see the large diurnal swing indicative of clear skies). During the last third of September the clouds came and the temperature generally went off a cliff (on the graph there is a lot more consistency in the daytime and nightime temperatures). Overall it was about a degree above average which is the highest for any month of this year.

Up until the last week of September it looked like it might have been an historically dry month, as there was no significant precipitation for the first 20 days. But then the wettest day of year came along (30.2 mm on the 28th) and although the total was still below average, it was no longer historically low.

This dry month brought the total precipitation for the year (700.3 mm) very close to the average (683.5 mm).


Summary for September 2009:
Maximum Temperature 24.7 °C
Minimum Temperature 1.9 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 21.0 °C (Long term average 20.0 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 9.6 °C (Long term average 8.3 °C)
Total Precipitation 51.4 mm (Long term average 87.5 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)




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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Instant Fall

I saw the expression "Instant Fall" used on a weather blog from the US and think it encapsulates perfectly the turn in the weather over the last week.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Summer 2009 summary

An average summer for both temperature and precipitation

This summary would have been a lot different if we used meteorological summer (June, July, August) rather than astronomical summer (summer solstice to autumnal equinox). The weather in these first 3 weeks of September has been quite a contrast to the rest of the summer.

It was cold in July, average in August and warm in September, this all balanced out to an overall temperature just 0.1 degrees less than average. Obviously this is within the average range.

We were pretty much average for precipitation at the beginning of September, but only managed to barely stay in the average range by the end of the summer. We were saved by 11.0 mm on the very last full day of summer, following 20 days without any significant precipitation.

I think that people can be forgiven for thinking that the summer was wetter than it really was as there was only a single weekend during July and August where both Saturday and Sunday had above average temperatures and no rain (August 15-16).

But even this couldn't dampen the opinions people had about the summer. In a very unscientific poll conducted on the UW weather station website the 267 votes broke down as follows: 41% thought it was great(112 Votes), 25% had it as good(67 Votes), for 8% it was just OK(23 Votes), 11% considered it bad(31 Votes), while 12% called it total washout(34 Votes). The "great" category was down from 51% last year, but with all the complaining I heard about this summer I'm still a little surprised that a plurality of people said the summer was either good or great.

Summary for Summer 2009:
Maximum Temperature 31.3 °C
Minimum Temperature 1.9 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 23.5 °C (Long term average 24.2 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 12.7 °C (Long term average 12.2 °C)
Total Precipitation 206.9 mm (Long term average 274.0 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1970-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)




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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thanks to all the visitors

We had around 315 people come out to see the UW weather station as part of Doors Open this past weekend. Thanks for everybody who took the time to visit.

Here are the comments from the Summer of 2009 poll:

Great

Good

OK

Bad

Washout

Coldest day since May

When it got down to 2.2°C on the morning of September 19th it was the coldest temperature since May 18th when it was actually a little below zero.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dry first half of September

The first half of September has been a dry one, the weather station has had about half a millimetre of precipitation (there have been some trace amounts recorded but nothing significant).

The last time we had a significant amount of rain was back on August 29th. Thus if we don't get any rain until Monday (as is forecast) we will be at 22 days.

There have been some stories in the Toronto media about this no rain streak, but I'm a bit surprised that their record is only 18 days.

The record for this area goes all the way back to 1924 when we had 34 days without precipitation between October 8th and November 10th. The streak we are now on will probably be the longest stretch since 1988 when the period between May 23rd and June 14th was dry (23 days).

The odds are good I'll be looking up the lowest total precipitation for September when I do the monthly summary.

Monday, September 14, 2009

UW weather station on Doors Open Waterloo Region

If you have ever wanted to get a first hand look at the equipment we use to measure the information you see on the weather station website, this is your chance.

This Saturday (September 19th) the UW weather station will be part of Doors Open Waterloo Region. Doors Open is a celebration of community heritage where free access is given to properties that are either not usually open to the public or would normally charge an entrance fee.

The event runs from 10 am to 5 pm and once again all the sites are free.

For more information (list of other sites and maps to get there):

http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/doorsopen

Friday, September 11, 2009

Locked in patterns

For the last two months the daily high temperatures have locked into either being above or below average and stayed there. Here is how is has broken down:

July 11th to Aug 8 - Below average
Aug 9 to Aug 21 - Above average
Aug 22 to Sep 1 Below average
Sep 1 to Sep 10 - Above average

The forecast looks like we will be a bit above average into next week.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August 2009 Summary

An average August for both temperature and precipitation

Cold. Hot. Cold. That pretty much sums up August as far as the temperature was concerned. Eight colder than average days, then thirteen warmer than average ones, followed by 10 more cold ones. And as often happens in this situation, the cold days were offset by the warm ones and we ended up with an average overall temperature for the month.

Going in the last weekend of the month it looked like we were going to end up below average, but nothing like over 25 mm on a single day to bring us back into the average range. But don’t forget about those 10 hot days in the middle of August when there were only a few millimetres of rain.

The total precipitation for the year so far at 649.1 mm is edging just a little closer to the average of 596.0 mm.


Summary for August 2009:
Maximum Temperature 29.9 °C
Minimum Temperature 6.5 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 24.3 °C (Long term average 24.7 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 14.0 °C (Long term average 12.6 °C)
Total Precipitation 81.1 mm (Long term average 87.0 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)




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Monday, August 17, 2009

Warmest night in three years

The temperature only got down to 21.8°C on Sunday night / Monday morning, that was the warmest night since way back on August 1st, 2006 when it only went down to 25.3°C.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer weather this week

Like it, love it, or hate it, this week looks to have more typical summer weather, sunny days with highs in the upper 20s.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A good light show

Well the forecasts certainly delivered with respect to both the temperature and the humidity.

The temperature of 29.7°C combined with humidity that caused a humidex in the 40s combined with the unstable air to bring a couple of good light shows on Sunday.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer weather this weekend

For those of you that have been craving the sticky/summer weather (and for those that despise it you should also take notice) that the forecasts for Sunday are in the high 20s or low 30s depending on the forecast.

It also looks like we might get more than a couple days that are above average. The last time we had more than two days like that was back in late June.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

July 2009 Summary

An historically cold July with average precipitation

Wow, that was July? Really? Well yes it was and it was the second coldest July since records in the area began in 1915. That is when you consider the daily high temperatureswhere only July of 1992 was slightly colder (this year's average high temperatures were 22.6°C while it was only 22.2°C in 1992, compared to the average of 26.0°C). We only had 2 days this month where the high temperature was above average, so that makes 29 below average days.

The daily low temperatures came in at only 1.0 degrees below average which doesn't even rank in the top 10 (or bottom 10 depending on how you look at it) when looking at data since 1915.

By the way, lots of people said it felt like May or September, just want to go on record that even this cold July was warmer than an average May or September.

As I pointed out in my blog entry this month (see link below), the temperatures we have seen so far this year in Canada are unique in that it has been above average almost everywhere else in the world. In fact, the daily high temperatures for July in Whitehorse (and yes I know that's in Canada but it is a good example) were higher the ours, while in Texas they just recorded the hottest 30 days in their history, ever.

We had 17 days with some measured precipitation, which is a lot more than the average
of 10 days for July, this probably made it feel wetter than it actually was. As the total of 82.6 mm was still below the average of 92.9 mm, but close enough to be within the average range. There were only 2 days with over 10 mm of precipitation. While the total precipitation for the year so far is 567.8 mm compared to an average of 506.0 mm.

Usually I don't talk about the incoming solar radiation (a measure of how much of the sun's energy is getting to the surface), but a lot of people were saying that they never saw the sun this month. The only record we have of this is our own record at the UW weather station, so based on 10 years of data we were below the average, but back in 2004 there was even less incoming solar radiation so it wasn't historically low.

Summary for July 2009:
Maximum Temperature 26.0 °C
Minimum Temperature 8.4 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 22.6 °C (Long term average 26.0 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 12.6 °C (Long term average 13.8 °C)
Total Precipitation 82.6 mm (Long term average 92.9 mm)
(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)




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Monday, July 27, 2009

The year so far.

So far for 2009:

The warmest day was 31.3°C on June 24th.

The coldest day was -28.8°C on January 15th.

Largest one day temperature range was 20.4° on February 7th.

Smallest one day temperature range was 2.4° on February 11th.

The wettest day was 29.4 mm on April 3rd.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Canada=cold, rest of world=hot

I found this interesting in the latest global climate monitoring report:

The January-June year-to-date tied with 2004 as the fifth warmest on record. The January-June 2009 map of temperature anomalies shows the presence of warmer-than-average conditions across much of the world's land areas, with the exception of cooler-than-average temperatures across Canada.


So apparantly it is only Canada that has been colder than average so far this year, although the dot closest to us in Waterloo is actually red indicating slightly above average temperatures.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Coldest first 15 days of July in history

The average daily high temperature for the first 15 days of July 2009 have only averaged 21.9°C. This is lower than any previous start of July since records began in the region in 1915**.

The previous coldest was 1917 when the daily highs averaged 22.4
°C .

The average daily low temperature has been 11.2
°C and for that only the year 1950 had a lower average (10.8°C), but overall this year has been colder than 1950.

As I've been saying you have to go to Whitehorse to find the summer, their high temperatures in July so far have actually been higher than ours (24.0
°C). But their low temperatures make their overall average a bit lower than ours. As well, they had a temperature of -1.2°C on June 28th, that's kind of nasty.


** Records for the region started in October of 1914, so for July we have records back to 1915, the July data is also missing for 1939 but there is nothing to indicate from nearby records that it was a unusually cold


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quite a shot of rain!

Between 8:45 and 9:00 am Saturday morning we got 15.4 mm of rain.

That is the third highest 15 minute rainfall in the last 10 years, the two higher ones were the 15.9 mm on May 12, 2000 and 23.0 mm last July 22nd.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Everyone wants to know Where is the summer?

First off on Thursday I was on CBC's Ontario Morning with Wei Chen:

Follow this link to listen to the conversation

Then on Friday morning I was talking with Carlos and Gayle of DAVE-FM:

Follow this link to listen to the conversation.

OK I re-used the villagers with pitchforks and torches line, but I thought it was a good one.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Yes that was a cold day for July

The high temperature on Tuesday, July 7th only got up to 15.9°C.

That made it the lowest daytime high temperature since 1997 and the fifth lowest since 1971.

Here is a list of the only July days that we didn't beat:

14.2°C July 8th, 1995
14.3°C July 31th, 1992
14.6°C July 4th, 1997
15.6°C July 7th, 1984

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 2009 Summary

A cold June with average precipitation

Even a streak of very hot days near the end couldn't prevent the month from being the coldest June since 2004. Overall, the daytime high temperatures were 1.5 degrees below average including 5 days that were colder than average by more than 5 degrees. It also got down to a frigid 2.9 °C on the morning of the 4th, this was the coldest June temperature since 1998.

A wet end to the month brought us back into the average range for precipitation after a dry start, the final total was 75.8 mm which isn’t too far below the average of 80.0 mm.

The total for the year so far is 485.2 mm compared to an average of 415.0 mm. Although we have had a lot of precipitation this year, it still only ranks as the 6th wettest year going back to 1971, so unless we kick up the pace it doesn't look like it will be an extreme year.

Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Below average
Actual Temperature: Below average

Summary for June 2009:
Maximum Temperature 31.3 °C
Minimum Temperature 2.9 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 22.1 °C (Long term average 23.6 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 11.3 °C (Long term average 11.3 °C)
Total Precipitation 75.8 mm (Long term average 80.0 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A pretty good burst of rain

Between 2:15 and 2:30 yesterday afternoon, 6.6 mm of rain fell.

This is the highest 15 minute precipitation since last August 10th when we had 14.4 mm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hottest day since 2007

Wednesday's high of 31.3°C was the hottest temperature seen at the UW weather station since August 3rd, 2007, when it was 32.7°C.

Heat like we haven't seen for a while

Yesterday's high of 29.3°C was the highest we have seen since last September 3rd.

And if we do hit the predicted high of over 30 today it might be the hottest it has been in a couple of years.

But we are probably not going to go above the 32.7°C back on August 3rd, 2007.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wow an actual hot day

When the temperature went up to 25.2°C on Sunday, June 21st it was the first time that the temperature had been a full degree higher than average since May 24th.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Spring 2009 Summary

A wet spring with average temperatures

It was a little warm at times and a little cool at times, but the temperature for the spring never really took hold one way or the other for any long stretches except near the end. The final numbers put the daytime highs about 0.6 degrees below average and the nighttime lows about 0.2 degrees below. This works out to 0.4 degrees less than average overall and that's close enough to zero to make the temperature average for the spring.

But for those who thought it seemed really cold this year, it was the coldest spring since 2003. Also, when you look at the graph of the recent temperatures you can see that it has been pretty steady since late May (the last time we had a daytime high that was more than a full degree above average was back on May 24th) and I think this has made people really wonder if the warmer temperature are ever going to arrive.

We had had a pretty consistent rate of precipitation for the spring as we were always hanging around the border between the average and above average range. In the end, the total precipitation for the season was 264.6 mm, which is just 0.2 mm above the average range and thus we can call it an above average spring for precipitation. This also made it the wettest spring since 2004.

There were no particularly large storms during the season (the highest daily precipitation was 29.4 mm, pretty good, but not spectacular) and no extremely long periods of dry conditions, just 11 dry days in April.

I was also reading over the summary from the past winter and I ended that one by pointing out that we usually get about 13 cm of snow during the spring, just to finish that thought, we ended up getting 10.5 cm, so pretty much an average spring for snowfall.


Summary for Spring 2009:
Maximum Temperature 26.3 °C
Minimum Temperature -8.5 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 15.2 °C (Long term average 15.9 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 4.2 °C (Long term average 4.4 °C)
Total Precipitation 264.6 mm (Long term average 219.5 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1970-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Microsoft Vista sidebar gadget

NOTE: The gadget has been tested by IT staff at UW and they have found it to work as advertised. They did not see any way that a game or virus could have been installed along with the gadget.

Here is a Microsoft Vista sidebar gadget sent in by Hao Zhang.

You can download the zip file containing the gadget here.

There is a readme file here, but all it says is to extract the files in the zip file to this directory:

%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

As before I don't have a way to test it out myself so please leave comments on what you think of it and any suggestions to make it better.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Talking about the cold start to June

I was on Dave-FM Friday morning talking about the cool start to June with Carlos and Gayle.

Follow this link to listen to conversation.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Yes, it has been colder than average

Follow this link to AccuWeather.com to see a good rundown of why we have been seeing cooler than average temperatures over the past week or so.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The model of consistency

The forecast highs for the next week all range between 20°C and 23°C.

And it is not like we have been seeing any large temperature swings in the past few weeks either, the temperature has been pretty consistently a few degrees below average since the end of May.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Oh to be in the Yukon

The high temperature in Whitehorse was 28.8°C on Thursday.

This is higher than any temperature we have seen so far this year.

But I also acknowledge that there will be some people who will prefer the just slightly below temperatures we have been seeing lately.

Monday, June 1, 2009

May 2009 Summary

An average month for both temperature and precipitation

Nothing much to say about the temperature in May, it was pretty much average for the entire month. The final overall average temperature was half a degree below average, but this is not enough below the average to put it outside of the average range.

I really don't want to jinx it, but the last time the temperature was below zero was on the morning of May 18th (the Monday of the Victoria Day long weekend). Assuming this holds, it will be the second latest first frost day in the 11 year history of the UW weather station (back in 2002 the last frost day was May 21st).

Up until the 26th it looked like it was going to be a dry month, but in the last 5 days an impressive 42.2 mm came down pushing us up to 73.0 mm, just below the average of 75.7 mm.

As only January had below average precipitation, the first 5 months of 2009 collectively have come in as far above average. The total for the year is 409.4 mm compared to an average of 337.7 mm. Last year (which was the third highest total precipitation on record) at this time we only had 378.9 mm, but it was really the second half of 2008 that put us close to the record so we probably shouldn't read too much into it.


Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Above average
Actual Temperature: Average

Summary for May 2009:
Maximum Temperature 26.3 °C
Minimum Temperature -0.8 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 18.1 °C (Long term average 18.9 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 6.2 °C (Long term average 6.6 °C)
Total Precipitation 73.0 mm (Long term average 75.7 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Really!?

Forecasted lows of 1°C for Sunday morning, I thought we were over this madness.

Sunday morning update: the low was 3.4°C

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A couple of very wet days

On Wednesday, May 27th there was 25.4 mm (exactly an inch) of rain followed by 19.8 mm on Thursday, May 28th.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cold mornings during the Victoria Day long weekend

As forecasted, it did go below zero on the Monday morning of the long weekend.

The temperature got down to -0.3°C making it a cold morning for those camping during the long weekend.

Please leave your experiences with the weather this weekend as comments on the blog page.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Another cold Victoria Day weekend

The forecast has been jumping around a bit, but right now there is a forecast high of only 6°C on Sunday and of course a low of -2°C for Monday morning.

Another chilly Victoria Day long weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Two days in a row!

After falling to -0.6°C Monday morning, the temperature went below zero (down to -0.8°C) again on Tuesday morning.

That could be end of it however, as there is no frost predicted in the current 7 day forecasts.

Monday, May 11, 2009

It happened this morning and it might happen again

The forecasts were correct, the temperature dipped down to -0.6 °C this morning.

And it looks like another cold night tonight that might again lead to below zero temperatures.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hope you didn't plant those annuals

A frost warning has been issued for Sunday night/Monday morning, take heed anybody who jumped the gun and maybe put out some plants that they shouldn't have.

If it happens, this would make it the first time since mid-April that the temperature would get below zero.

The old standard of waiting to start a garden till the Victoria Day weekend still seems to be words to live by.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UW Weather station MAC OS application II

So I ask for weather station apps, I get some and then I take a really long time to distribute them, not a good way to encourage future development.

To correct this, here is another application for the Mac OS X operating system, this one sent in by Jeffrey Ouimen. As I don't have the means to test out the application, but I encourage anybody who does to please leave feedback on the blog.

Note that the UW weather station is not responsible for the content or the operation of this application.

Contact information for Jeffrey can be found on his website (link below).

You can either download the zip file containing the latest version of the application here:

UW_Weather_Dashboard Widget

Current version is 1.0, available May 5, 2009

or you can download it from Jeffrey's website.

Friday, May 1, 2009

April 2009 Summary

A very wet month with average temperature

Just like March the temperature was about 0.8 degrees above average in April, but again it wasn't quite hot enough to call it an above average month. Even with two days over 25 °C and only a couple of really cold days, the overall temperature was still within the average range.

Also interesting is that the last day the temperature was below zero was back on April 17th, now I'm not suggesting that you can start to plan your annuals, but if we don't see frost again this year it would be the earliest last frost in at least the last 10 years (if we don't see zero in May I'll look it up historically).

And in UW weather station news, the temperature went over 20 °C at 1:30 on April 18th, making Ross Schneider the winner of this year's weather station contest, with Michael Theunissen coming in second.

The 128.6 mm of precipitation we saw during the month made it the wettest April since 1996 and the 5th wettest of all time since records began in the area back in 1914. Almost all of the precipitation came during 5 days of the month: 29.4 mm on the 3rd, 15.7 mm on the 6th, 18.0 mm on the 20th, 18.8 mm on the 25th, and 25.0 mm on the 30th. The 10.5 cm of snow for the month was a little bit more than the 7.8 cm we get on average.

We are again having a wet year with 326.4 mm of precipitation so far compared to the average of 262.2 mm.

Although historically we have had snow in May, I'm going to call an end to the 2008-09 snowfall season. The snowfall season ended with a whimper, with very little snow after the end of January, but if you remember back to last fall and the early winter we thought the snow would never end. The total snowfall was 235.0 cm which is tied for the third highest total of all time with 1942-1943 and behind both the 245.3 cm in 1923-24 and the 257.5 cm last year.

Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Above average
Actual Temperature: Average


Summary for April 2009:
Maximum Temperature 26.1 °C
Minimum Temperature -5.4 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 12.1 °C (Long term average 11.4 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature 1.5 °C (Long term average 0.6 °C)
Total Precipitation 128.6 mm (Long term average 76.9 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Going for a record April precipitation

As of April 29th we had 103.6 mm of precipitation for the month, however the forecast is calling for anywhere from 10 to 20 mm of rain this afternoon and evening.

Depending on how much we get today, this April might get into the top 5 wettest Aprils of all time. No matter what happens it will be the wettest one since 1996.

Here are the current top 7 wettest months of April:

1921 - 135.9 mm
1933 - 133.9 mm
1991 - 132.1 mm
1996 - 130.6 mm
1916 - 123.2 mm
1954 - 121.4 mm
1979 - 121.3 mm

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Well that was something

Our first real good thunderstorm of the year really hit us suddenly and hard.

There really wasn't that much total rain (11.0 mm) but when it came down starting at 4:30 pm it was painful for those of us unlucky enough to be stranded outside. It wasn't hail but it felt like little rocks being thrown at me and I saw a recycling bin going down Bridgeport at about 50 km/h, if you are missing one it is probably in Guelph by now.

The temperature went from 20.5 °C to 15.6 °C in the fifteen minutes between 4:30 pm and 4:45 pm. That's not an all-time record (it dropped 5.7 degrees back on June 8th, 2007) but it could likely be the fastest drop we see this year.

After taking shelter on the main floor of the parking garage on King I watched as some of the construction fencing from the new public square blew onto King Street. This caused a bit of traffic mess before me and hot dog vendor guy pulled the debris to the side of the road.

Anybody else got stories from the storm?

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have a winner!

We (finally) have a winner in the 2009 weather station contest!

This year's winner is:

Ross Schneider
who correctly chose a time of 1:30 pm on April 18th

He realized back in February that the winning day would be his birthday (I think this is our first birthday winner).

In second place we have:

Michael Theunissen

As well the following people are the winners in the random draw:
Deema Saleh, Joe Szalai, and Christina Miceli.

Thanks to the everybody who entered the contest, we hope you had fun with the contest, and will enter again next year.

And this is probably thinking too far ahead, but note that for next year's contest in 2010, the entry period will likely be in early February so that it won't get lost in all the media coverage of the Vancouver Olympics.

Once again we would like to thank UWShop and The Bookstore who sponsored this year's prizes.

As well as taking home some cool prizes, the winners will also become members of the Waterloo Weather Station Contest Hall of Fame.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Might it finally happen?

There is a forecasted high of 18°C for this Friday.

That is tantalizingly close to hitting the 20°C needed to win the weather station contest.

But remember this forecast was made on Monday morning and these 5 day forecasts can change quite a bit

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The real Fassnacht storm

OK so I kind of jumped the gun last week calling that light dusting the Fassnacht storm.

As someone posted in the comments that is just tempting nature to give us a real storm and low and behold it delivered.

We had a little over 10 cm over the past day or so and it doesn't look like it is going away till later in the week. We can take comfort in that the forecast is that spring will return for the long weekend.

And yes the weather station contest is still on, we have only gone above 15 C a couple of times so far and even the long term forecast doesn't get that high. So it looks like it might be while yet before we have a winner.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Crazy April turnaround

Just as we are enjoying a sunny day of 10 degrees, Environment Canada puts out a snowfall warning for 15 to 25 cm of the white stuff.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A wet day in April

On Friday, April 3rd we recorded 26.2 mm of precipitation, as per station policy we won't comment on that a being a "record" for the day, but it was the second most April precipitation we have seen in the little over ten years of records at the UW weather station.

The only wetter April day was back in 2006 on the 23rd.

This year the "day's" total precipitation was helped out by the fact that the entire storm occurred during the 24 hours that made up the 3rd.

Also notable was that the temperature dropped almost 7 degrees in the span of about 2 hours, not to mention the crazy winds that came in after the rain.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March 2009 summary

University of Waterloo Weather Station Summary - March 2009

A month with both average temperature and precipitation

The month started off cold, but this was offset by lots of days with double digit highs to put the overall average temperature 0.85°C above average. However, since we often see large temperature swings during March the average range is very large, so the temperature would have to be more than 1.1°C above or below average for it not to be classified as being within the average range.

Most of the precipitation we saw in March came in the first half of the month. Before the 12th 60.6 mm had fallen, then 12 days of nothing, and finishing off with another 18.4 mm. This totalled to 79.0 mm for the month which was on the high end of the average range that goes from 51.0 mm to 81.3 mm.

Snow? March 12th. 0.5 cm. March average 24 cm. End of the snow story.

We have now had 209.7 mm of precipitation this year compared to the average of 185.2 mm for the end of March.


Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Below average
Actual Temperature: Average

Summary for March 2009:
Maximum Temperature 16.6 °C
Minimum Temperature -16.6 °C
Average Daily High Temperature 5.0 °C (Long term average 3.5 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -5.5 °C (Long term average -5.6 °C)
Total Precipitation 79.0 mm (Long term average 70.6 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Fassnacht storm

Even though I wasn't able to measure even half a centimetre of snow this morning, waking up and seeing your backyard covered white still qualifies as the Fassnacht storm.

This is the name our office has for the snow storm that comes in late March or early April after all of the snow from the winter has melted. It is named after a former student who always said to watch out for that last storm.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We want more apps!

At the moment we have a UW Weather Station iGoogle gadget and the one for the MacOS one (and there is a second one for the Mac that someone wrote that I'll get out soon) but I want more.

There appears to be demand for apps on the following devices or operating systems:

Blackberry
iPhone
Yahoo widget
Vista sidebar

(If you have any suggestions for others leave a comment to this post)

So if anybody has the notion to write some of these, go crazy.

And before anybody is thinking they are going to get rich on this, be warned that we are only going to link to apps from the weather station that are free.

I don't want to have to judge any particular one to be the "official" weather station choice, so I'll try and put them all out there and let the interweb decide which one is best.

I'll make a separate blog posting for each app so that there is a place that people can leave feedback. This has worked well with the MacOS one, as it has been updated a few times based on feedback.

If you make an app, send me a description to weather (at) civmail.uwaterloo.ca and also be sure to include exactly how people can download the necessary files.

Submitted so far:

iGoogle gadget

MacOS application

MacOS application II

Friday, March 20, 2009

Winter 2008/09 Summary

A very wet winter with average temperatures

A very cold January was enough to offset a relatively warm February and March to put the entire winter season just a bit below average but still within the average range. It was 0.4 °C below average in the end with nothing particularly significant about the highest (16.6 °C) or lowest (-28.8 °C) temperatures seen during the season.

The trend of wet winters continued with 244.2 mm of total precipitation falling compared to an average of 184.5 mm. This makes 5 of the last 6 winters recording above average precipitation. The beginning of the season was very wet, it then levelled off, but some heavy rainstorms in the beginning of March put us well above average.

It is always awkward to just look at the snowfall during the 3 months of winter as opposed to the entire snowfall season that goes from September all the way to May. But a winter summary wouldn't be complete without it, so I will say we got 128.5 cm of snow this winter compared to the average of 106 cm, above average but not a record or anything. By the way we usually average about 13 cm for the spring.


Summary for Winter 2008/09:
Maximum Temperature 16.6 °C
Minimum Temperature -28.8 °C
Average Daily High Temperature -1.0 °C (Long term average -1.4 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -11.0 °C (Long term average -9.8 °C)
Total Precipitation 244.2 mm (Long term average 184.5 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1970-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)

Follow this link to see the graph showing the temperature and precipitation:





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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A very wet March so far

As of Wednesday morning, we have already had 60 mm of precipitation in March.

Not quite the monthly average of 70.6 mm yet, but as much as we had during the entire month last year.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Warm day

The high temperature of 16.6°C on Friday, March 6th made it the warmest day since November 7th of last year.

Snowfall summary - March 6, 2009

This weekend we will finally be surpassed by last year's total snowfall.

As of Friday we have had 224.0 cm and although last year at this time we only had 208.5 cm, over March 7th, 8th, and 9th of last year we had a total of 37.5 cm.

Ironically we might get the same amount of precipitation this weekend, however it will be wet rather than the white.

Although no big storms are in the forecast, we always seem to get that one big snowfall sometime in March when you think winter is over. Around here we call this the "Fassnacht" snowstorm, after the person in the office who always predicted it would come and as he is now the president of the Eastern Snow Conference maybe we should listen to him.

As we can easily get snow in April I'm not willing to call an end to the snowfall season just yet, but it looks doubtful that we will set another record this year. Right now we are 5th on the all time snowfall total.

Here are the current top 5 highest snowfall season totals for the area:

2007-08
257.5 cm

1923-1924
245.3 cm

1942-43
235.0 cm

1925-26
227.3 cm

1983-84
221.6 cm



Click on the image below to see the snowfall graph:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shortwave radiation dip

I added a new question on the FAQ page that I thought I should put here as well:

Q: Why does the graph of incoming radiation sometimes have a dip in the readings around noon even when it seems like it is a perfectly sunny day?

In the fall of 2002 we installed a device on top of the Micrometeorology tower south of the main station to measure the incoming precipitation from different directions.

See a picture of the installation here

Unfortunately, as the tower is south of the main station and the device is rather large there are times of the year when it will cast a shadow on the incoming solar radiation gauge. That is the reason for the dip in the solar radiation readings.

This effect is seen from about January 9th to March 7th and then again from October 5th to November 21st.

At the moment we have no solution to this problem, however we are examining whether or not the device will be kept at the station.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

February 2009 summary

A warm month with above average precipitation

For the first time since September we had a warmer than average month. Although there were a couple of short cold spells, they were offset by longer warm periods making the overall temperature a full degree higher than average. This also made it the warmest February since 2002.

Historically, February is the driest month of the year with only 51.3 mm of precipitation, but this year we had 79.6 mm, making it an above average month. Most of that came during two rain events, the 42.7 mm on the 11th and 12th and the 22.6 mm on the 27th. Considering we only average 25.6 mm of rain during February, this year's rain total is about 2 and half times the average.

After seeing a lot of snow in the first half of the season, we only had 25 cm in February putting it below the average of 31 cm.

We have now had 128.8 mm of precipitation this year compared to the average of 115.7 mm for the end of February.


Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Average
Actual Temperature: Above average

Summary for February 2009:
Maximum Temperature 8.4 °C
Minimum Temperature -28.7 °C
Average Daily High Temperature -0.2 °C (Long term average -1.9 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -10.1 °C (Long term average -10.5 °C)
Total Precipitation 79.6 mm (Long term average 51.3 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Friday, February 27, 2009

Thunder last night?

Was I dreaming or was there some thunder early Friday morning?

The big cool down has started

It is forecasted to go from the high of 8.3°C at 5:30 am this morning down to -10°C by 7 pm.

Be careful walking out there as all of those puddles are going to turn into ice sheets pretty fast.

Update:

The temperature went from a high of 8.3°C at 5:30 am to -7.4°C at 4:30 pm.

During the day there was a drop of about 15 degrees in 8 hours.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The weather station contest has started

It is only appropriate to start the weather station contest on a cold, blustery day like today.

For those of you that don't know, to win the contest you have to guess the time and date that the weather station will first register a temperature of 20°C or greater.

The contest is free to enter (only one entry per person please) and there are prizes for the winners.

Get all the details on the contest entry page (link is below).

You have to put in your guess by 3 pm on Friday, February 27.

Good luck everybody!

Click here to go to the contest entry page.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Snowfall summary - February 14, 2009

Haven't done this for a while, but here is the current snowfall summary for the season.

We are at 211 cm since the fall, this still puts us ahead of last year at this time (about 180 cm) but the gap is closing.

We will see in the next few weeks if we can set a new record.

Click on the image below to see the snowfall graph:




Quick update, look I'm not the only one to make snowfall graphs:

Minneapolis snowfall

That was a lot of rain

The total rainfall from Wednesday night to Thursday morning was 41.8 mm, breaking down to 25.1 mm on Wednesday and 16.7 mm on Thursday.

As the rain occurred over two days it is hard to tell exactly how many times we have had this much precipitation in February.

For instance we had 28.1 mm on February 4th, 2006, but only 10.1 mm the day before. So although the one day total was higher in 2006 there was more from this storm in total.

What I do know is that the highest one day February precipitation total was in 2001 on the 9th when we had 49.9 mm, not surprisingly it was also a rain event.

Looking back at the records going back to 1970 I wasn't able to find any other consecutive days with over 40 mm of precipitation. Thus I'm confident in saying that this was the second biggest storm we have seen in the area during February since 1970.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Revenge of the snow

Remember how you have been cursing the snow as you were shoveling it from your sidewalk over the last month? Well it's about to get its revenge.

With double digit temperatures forecasted in the next few days and up to 15 mm of rain, the world will look like quite a different place by the end of the week.

Although it got warm over this past weekend it wasn't enough to actually melt the snowpacks, it was just enough to make them angry (just like poking a wild animal).

The GRCA has issued a flood warning so everybody should keep away from streams and rivers the next few days.

As well if your basement is prone to flooding, this is probably a good time to look at it and make sure that everything that can't get wet is off the floor.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

First warm day in a while

The temperature on Saturday, February 7th got up to 6.1 °C making it the warmest day since December 28th of last year.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quick temperature rise

On Thursday the temperature rose from -20.7°C at 9:30 am up to -16.5°C at 9:45 am.

That isn't an all-time record 15 minute temperature rise, but might end up being the largest one for 2009.

And as we might be having the last really cold day of the season this seemed like a good time to put this in.

A recent comment on the blog asked:

Which is worse? A colder but drier freeze (Winnipeg) or a less cold, but more humid freeze (Southern Ontario)?

Leave your opinion in the comments below.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

January 2009 summary

The coldest January in 15 years with lots of snow but no rain

Well that was a cold one, although January has 31 days like a lot of other months, it seems that this one just wouldn't end. The first part of January wasn't actually that cold, but one deep freeze between the 14th and 16th and another smaller one between the 24th and 26th put the overall temperature almost 4 degrees below average for the month.

The made it the coldest month (and of course the coldest January) since January of 1994 and the 6th coldest January since records in the area began back in 1915.

For the entire month we had a grand total of just over 3 hours where the temperature was above zero between 11:45 am and 3:00 pm on the 23rd. The low of -28.8 °C on the 15th was the lowest temperature we have seen at the UW weather station since January 28, 2005 when it was -30.5 °C.

Looking at the total precipitation we had 49.2 mm putting it below the average of 64.4 mm, but just enough to put it in the average range for precipitation. The snow total of 62.5 cm was above the average of 43.5 cm, however the reason we were low on the total precipitation is that we didn't have any rain where we would usually expect about 28 mm.

The total snowfall for the snowfall season (going back to the fall) is 202 cm, this puts us about 85 cm above where we were at this time last year and only 55.5 cm from the record total snowfall from last season.

Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Average
Actual Temperature: Below average

Summary for January 2009:
Maximum Temperature 1.6 °C
Minimum Temperature -28.8 °C
Average Daily High Temperature -5.7 °C (Long term average -3.1 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -16.0 °C (Long term average -11.1 °C)
Total Precipitation 49.2 mm (Long term average 64.4 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)



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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snowfall totals for January 28, 2009

8:30 am - 4.0 cm
11:30 am - 6.0 cm
2:30 pm - 10.0 cm
5:30 pm - 11.0 cm

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snowfall summary - January 27, 2009

We have gone about a week without a major snowfall (although one might be coming overnight and tomorrow).

As a result, although we started out strong this season, we are now creeping towards last year's numbers.

Looking at the snowfall graph you can see that last year (the top red line on the graph) was pretty much average until about mid-January and then it really took off to become the record breaking season it was.

It is by no means a certainty that we will surpass last year's total snowfall, even with the head start we had this year.


Click on the image below to see the snowfall graph:


Friday, January 23, 2009

January thaw?

The temperature went above 0°C on Friday, January 23rd.

This was the first time it had happened since December 29th of last year and it probably won't happen again for a while.

(note I originally had the previous above zero date listed as December 28th by mistake)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

UW weather station application for Mac OS

I've had this for a while but I didn't want it to get lost in all the end of year summaries.

Weather station fan Nolan Waite wrote a little application for the Mac operating system that should put the latest data from the station on the menu bar automatically.

I don't have the means to test out the application, but I encourage anybody who does to please leave feedback on the blog.

But note that the UW weather station is not responsible for the content or the operation of this application.

Contact information for Nolan is contained in the Readme file.

You can download the latest version of the application here:

UW_Weather_Mac_OS

Current version is 1.2.4, available March 20, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Big freeze Day 5 (Saturday)

High temperature -8.9°C

Low temperature -20.9°C

As we are back into single digit temperatures I'm going to officially declare the end of the big freeze.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Big freeze Day 4 (Friday)

High temperature -15.1°C
(lowest daytime high temperature since February 4, 2007 when it only got up to -15.1°C)

Low temperature -19.3°C

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Big freeze Day 3 (Thursday)

High temperature -11.5°C

Low temperature -28.7°C
(lowest temperature since January 28, 2005 when it was -30.5°C)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Big freeze Day 2 (Wednesday)

High temperature -13.5°C

(lowest daytime high temperature since March 5, 2007 when it only got up to -13.8°C)

Low temperature -27.2°C

(lowest temperature since January 28, 2005 when it was -30.5°C)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's getting colder

The big freeze has begun.

The temperature was around -1°C before noon on Tuesday, January 13th, but now it has started its plunge that is forecasted to take it down well into the -20s over the next few days.

There is no telling when we will see temperatures close to zero again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More on the snow in 2008

I kind of buried this in the year end summary, but with all the stories about local cities being over their snow removal budget I thought I should update the paragraph from the year end summary. So here is the updated paragraph:

"One final note about the precipitation, although I don’t normally like to talk about total snowfall in terms of calendar years, it is kind of interesting to break it up this way for 2008. The snowy winter and spring from earlier this year combined with the third snowiest fall to give us 332.0 cm for 2008. This is far and away the most for a calendar year, easily surpassing the old record of 257.4 cm back in 1924 and twice the average annual snowfall which is 159.5 cm."

Also lost in the year end frenzy were the weekly snowfall updates, so here we go again: As of January 9th we have had 154.0 cm of snow this snowfall season. This compares to only 79 cm last year at this time.

And as per a suggestion from the comments on the blog here is a graphical comparison of this year's snowfall to the average (the green zone) and last year's amount (the top red line).

Click on the image below to see the snowfall chart:


Monday, January 5, 2009

2008 Summary


Wet, wet, wet. That was the weather story for 2008. I don’t think that will come as a surprise to most people if they think back to green lawns, lush gardens, and a whole lot of shoveling.

We finished with 1159.5 mm of precipitation in 2008 compared to an average of only 904.0 mm. This makes it the third highest annual total precipitation in the area since records began back in 1915. We were only 15 mm away from second place (1174.9 mm in 1940) and about 25 mm away from the all time record (1186.4 mm in 1985).

The abundance of precipitation was relatively consistent, with seven months of the year coming in with above average precipitation, 3 within the average range, and only 2 below average.

For the first half of the year the precipitation was merely above average, but then in July we saw 181.0 mm (the wettest month since July of 1991 as well as seeing a 1 in 25 year 6 hour storm and a 1 in 10 year 15 minute storm) and we started entering record territory. The precipitation didn’t let up for the rest of the year ending with the wettest December since 1949.

It was quite the contrast to the previous year, when the big weather story was how dry it was. In fact the amount we were over the average in 2008 was very close to the amount we were below in 2007, so if you take the total precipitation over the last 2 years it is very close to the average.

One final note about the precipitation, although I don’t normally like to talk about total snowfall in terms of calendar years, it is kind of interesting to break it up this way for 2008. The snowy winter and spring from earlier this year combined with the third snowiest fall to give us 326.5 cm for 2008. This is far and away the most for a calendar year, easily surpassing the old record of 257.4 cm back in 1924.

Looking at the temperature for 2008, we didn’t really see any extended periods of extremely above or below average temperatures. Overall it was 0.2 degrees above the 1971-2000 average; this still makes it the coolest year since 2004.

The year started off very warm, with January over 3 degrees warmer than average. Then more winter-like temperatures took hold and stayed until a brief warm spell in early April, but it wasn’t until late May that it really started to warm up. This combined with the record snowfall totals for the 2007-2008 snowfall season to make a lot of people think that winter would never end.

Although we didn’t see a single day above 30ÂșC during the summer, the average temperature for the season was higher than average. In a survey done on the UW weather station blog over 75% of people called it either a good or great summer, perhaps as a result of the lack of both smog warnings and extremely humid days.

These warm temperatures carried on into the early fall, however, the year ended with 3 consecutive colder than average months.

Notable weather days of 2008:

January 8: The high temperature on this day was 13.3°C, making it the 4th highest January temperature ever seen in the region.

February 27: Not really something to do with the actual weather, but this day was the 10th anniversary of the University of Waterloo weather station.

March 8 & 9: 31.5 cm of snow fell between the morning of the 8th and the 9th, this was the highest single day’s total since January 22, 1966.

April 4: The last 1 cm of snow was recorded, capping off the snow season of 2007-2008, which was the highest ever recorded in the region at 257.5 cm.

July 11: On the morning of July 11th between 3 and 9 am we recorded 78.0 mm of precipitation at the University of Waterloo Weather Station. It was the highest one day precipitation since July 7, 1991 when 82.0 mm was recorded at the Waterloo-Wellington Airport. So much rain fell that day you can see it clearly on the annual graph of precipitation.

July 22: On July 22nd between 7:30-7:45 pm 23.0 mm of rain fell. That was the highest 15 minute rainfall ever recorded at the UW weather station beating the previous record of 16.2 mm on June 27, 1999.

November 24-28: The temperature went above +1°C on the morning of November 28th, breaking a streak of 88 hours when the temperature stayed been between +1°C and -1°C. The longest previous streak of a 2 degree temperature range in the history of the UW weather station was back in 1998 between March 17th and 20th when we had 59 hours in that range.

December 27: The high temperature of 13.3°C was the highest December temperature since 2001.


Click on the image below to see the temperature chart:





Click on the image below to see the precipitation chart:



Friday, January 2, 2009

December 2008 Summary

The wettest December since 1949 with cold temperatures

Except for a few notable warm days in the middle and near the end of the month, the rest of December was very cold. Overall it was full degree colder than average, making it the most below average month since May.

The high temperature of 13.3 °C on the 27th was the highest December temperature we have seen since 2001. This was the second of two “snow resets” we saw during the month, the other one occurred on the 15th when the temperature got up to 7.7 °C.

We almost set a record as the wettest December since records began in the area back in 1915. We had 136.3 mm of precipitation this year almost surpassing the 139.7 mm measured back in 1949. This was almost double the average for December of 71.1 mm.

There was also a lot of white stuff to shovel as we got 92 cm of snow, this is over twice the average of 38.5 cm and makes December 2008 the snowiest since 2000.

Environment Canada prediction of temperature for the month: Below average
Actual Temperature: Below average

Summary for December 2008:
Maximum Temperature 13.3 °C
Minimum Temperature -18.8 °C
Average Daily High Temperature -0.6 °C (Long term average -0.2 °C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -8.8 °C (Long term average -7.3 °C)
Total Precipitation 136.3 mm (Long term average 71.1 mm)

(Long term averages based on 1971-2000 data for the Waterloo Wellington Airport)

Follow this link to see the graph showing the temperature and precipitation:





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