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.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April 2018 Summary


A wet April that was the coldest on record

Yes it was cold in April, but not just kind of cold, record breaking cold!  At 4 degrees below average, it was the coldest April we have seen in the region since records began back in 1915 beating the previous record set back in 1975.  It was also the most below average month since February of 2015.

It was cold right out of the gate as 20 of the first 21 days of the month were less than average and there were only a total of 6 days overall that were warmer than average.

During 3 really wet days between the 14th and the 16th there was a total of 72.6 mm of precipitation, this was almost more than monthly average total of 74.5 mm.  Not surprising the final total of 124.2 mm was well above average.

Let’s call an end to the snow season (I know famous last words), so the 10 cm we had in April puts the total for the snowfall season of 110.5 cm which is only about two thirds of the average of 159.7 cm.


Summary for April 2018:
Maximum Temperature 18.5°C
Minimum Temperature -8.0°C
Average Daily High Temperature 6.8°C (Long term average 11.5°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -2.8°C (Long term average 0.8°C)
Total Precipitation 124.2 mm (Long term average 74.5 mm)



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



Saturday, April 7, 2018

March 2018 Summary


A cool and dry March

The temperature during March was pretty steady throughout the month, however as the temperature typically goes up by about 6 degrees from the beginning to the end, that means the overall temperature ended up about 0.4 degrees below average.  Although it is less than average it is still within the average range.

One interesting thing was we didn’t see any extreme temperatures, the highest temperature of 9.3°C was the lowest since 2001 and the lowest temperature of -10.7°C was the highest since 2000.  This 20 degree range compares to an average range of 35.8 degrees and is the 4th lowest range in the 100+ years of weather data in the region.

With a streak of 10 days with no precipitation (and a week before that with very little) it isn’t surprising that it was a below average month for precipitation with only 40.0 mm compared to the average of 61.0 mm.

There was only 9.5 cm of snow which is only about a third of the average for March of 26.5 cm.  That brings the total snowfall to 100.5 cm, much less than the average of around 150 cm for the end of this month.


Summary for March 2018:
Maximum Temperature 9.3°C
Minimum Temperature -10.7°C
Average Daily High Temperature 2.7°C (Long term average 3.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -5.5°C (Long term average -5.6°C)
Total Precipitation 40.0 mm (Long term average 61.0 mm)

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



Thursday, March 1, 2018

February 2018 Summary


A warm and wet February

The first half of the month was a bit colder than average, however the heat really kicked into gear in the second half resulting in an overall temperature that was a little over 2 degrees higher than average.

Within that second half was the high of 15.6°C on the 20th that was the highest February temperature we have seen in the over 100 years of weather data in the region.  Of course that might sound familiar as the previous highest February temperature was just last year when it got up to 15.1°C.

It was the wettest February in the last 5 years with 84.0 mm compared to the average of 54.9 mm.  About half of the monthly total came during 2 really wet days (19th and 20th) when a total of 38.8 mm of rain combined with warm temperatures to melt almost all of the snow that was on the ground.

Before that rain, we saw 25 cm of snow during the first half of the month which is close the average for February of 30.3 cm.  That brings the total snowfall to 91 cm, which is now getting farther behind the average of 125.6 cm for this time of year.


Summary for February 2018:
Maximum Temperature 15.6°C
Minimum Temperature -21.6°C
Average Daily High Temperature 1.5°C (Long term average -1.2°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -8.1°C (Long term average -9.7°C)
Total Precipitation 84.0 mm (Long term average 54.9 mm)

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



Monday, February 26, 2018

Happy 20th Birthday to us!

Happy 20th Birthday to us!

We officially launched the University of Waterloo weather station on Feb 27, 1998. If you want to see what the webpage looked like in the early years you can see it here.

Thanks to everyone who has helped make the station possible for all these years and of course thanks to everyone who uses and enjoys the station.

Be sure to join us for the 20th anniversary talk on Monday (see the details here).

Thursday, February 22, 2018

20th Anniversary of the UW Weather Station Lecture


It is hard to believe, but the University of Waterloo Weather Station has been giving the public up to date weather conditions for 20 years! (Not to mention an archive of every reading ever taken as well as the popular contest to guess when the temperature first goes over 20 C). 

To mark this milestone, join UW Weather Station Coordinator Frank Seglenieks as he gives a presentation recalling how it all got started, the hurdles we have had to overcome, what trends we have seen in the data, and what we have learned along the way. There will also be a chance to ask questions about everything you have ever wanted to know about the station.

Tickets are free, but please register here so we can get an idea of how many people we can expect.  

 

2018 UW Weather Station contest has started


The entry period for the 2018 UW Weather Station contest has started, you can put in your guess for the first day the temperature will go over 20C here:

http://weather.uwaterloo.ca/20th_contest/contest.html

You have to get your guess in by Wednesday, February 28th at 2 pm.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

January 2017 Summary


A cold and wet January

The start of the month was very cold, as well as some days in the low minus 20s, we had a streak of 12 days (going back into 2017) where the temperature never went above -8°C.  This is the second longest streak like this, only surpassed by 1961 when there were 15 and just a little longer than in 1979 when we had 11.

We then experienced many temperature oscillations with a few days above zero, followed by a few below, and so on.  In fact the temperature passed through zero a total of 6 times leading to some mixed precipitation making for some difficult driving and walking conditions.

However, the warmer temperatures couldn’t make up for those really cold temperatures at the beginning of the month leading to an overall temperature that was a little more than a degree below average.

The total precipitation that fell was 73.3 mm, enough above the average of the 65.2 mm to put it into the above average range.  As far as snowfall, we had 28 cm less than the average of 43.7 cm for the month, while the total so far this season is 66 cm compared to the average of 95.3 cm for this point in the snowfall season.


Summary for January 2018:
Maximum Temperature 11.3°C
Minimum Temperature -28.6°C
Average Daily High Temperature -2.7°C (Long term average -2.6°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -12.5°C (Long term average -10.3°C)
Total Precipitation 73.3 mm (Long term average 65.2 mm)

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



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

2017 Summary

University of Waterloo Weather Station Annual Summary - 2017

There weren’t that many individual notable moments during 2017, but what was notable was how many times there were consecutive days of interesting weather leading me to call this the “year of streaks”.  There is no official measure of streaks so it can’t be said definitively that it was the most ever, but it seemed like there were lots of them.

It started in January when we saw 12 days in a row that went over 0 degrees, this is something that we had not seen since 1944.  There were also a lot of days were the sun did not make an appearance, leading me to invent something called “dreary” days and there were more of these in January then in any other January in the history of the UW Weather Station.

The next streak came in February with another 12 days in a row above 0, something that hasn’t happened in the over 100 years of weather data in the region and leading to it being the warmest February we have seen.  Also notable was the high of 15.1°C on the 23rd which was the highest February temperature we have ever seen in the region, while in second place was the 15.0°C which happened the day before.

Then for only the 5th time in 100 years March was colder then February followed by a warm April and the see saw continued with a cold May.  The summer was generally very close to average with not a lot of really hot or cold days.

It wasn’t till the end of September that we saw the longest heat wave of the “summer”.  The most significant streak was the 15 days above 25°C between the 12th and the 26th, which is something we have never seen before in September. 

In October there were 12 days where the temperature was over 20°C, we haven’t seen that many since October 1971.  But the most significant day was the 22nd when the temperature topped out at 25°C, this was tied with 1947 as the latest day of the year with a temperature above 25°C.

However, the cold temperatures came back with a vengeance in December, the coldest one since 2000, that featured a streak of very cold days at the end that went into the next year.  It was so cold that during the last 6 days of the month, the daily high temperatures didn’t even get above the average daily low temperatures for those days.

Overall the year was 1.1 degrees above average, making it the tenth warmest we have seen in the region.

The first half of the year was the second wettest on record, fueled by a very wet April followed by an even wetter May.  The rest of the year was more or less average with the final total of 988.6 mm coming in just within the above average range.



Summary for 2017:
Average Daily High Temperature: 13.09°C (average 12.05ºC)
Average Daily Low Temperature: 3.20°C  (average 1.94ºC)
Total Precipitation: 988.6 mm (average 916.3 mm)


(averages are calculated from 1981-2010 data for the Waterloo-Wellington Airport)

Click on the image below to see the temperature chart:

Click on the image below to see the precipitation chart:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

December 2017 Summary


A cold and dry December

For almost the entire first week, December was pretty warm with some double digit temperatures, however things then got somewhat colder before getting really cold.  So cold that during the last 6 days of the month, the daily high temperatures didn’t even get above the average daily low temperatures for those days.

Overall it was a bit more than 3 degrees below average making it the coldest December since 2000, while the cold streak at the end of the month might turn out to be one of the longest we have seen in the history of records in the region (but more on that next month).

The colder temperatures meant that most of the snow that fell remained on the ground at the end of the month.  However, this might have masked the fact that we didn’t get that much precipitation during December with only 32.0 mm compared to the average of 71.2 mm.

As far as snowfall, we had 31 cm which was just a little less than the average of 37.2 cm for the month.

Summary for December 2017:
Maximum Temperature 10.6°C
Minimum Temperature -28.1°C
Average Daily High Temperature -2.3°C (Long term average 0.2°C)
Average Daily Low Temperature -10.8°C (Long term average -6.8°C)
Total Precipitation 32.0 mm (Long term average 71.2 mm)


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