Just how cool was the summer of 2019?
Not cool at all, it turns out.
If you’re anything like almost everybody on the Abbotsford News’ Facebook page, you probably thought the summer of 2019 was cooler than normal.
That, at least, is how about 90 per cent of people answered when we asked readers the question Tuesday.
But all those people were wrong.
Among the first 50 people to answer the question, only one person – Elsje van der Westhuizen – was right.
According to Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, the average temperature in Abbotsford between June and August was 18.1 C. That’s 0.8 C above the 30-year normal. With temperature records dating back more than 70 years in Abbotsford, 2019 was the 12th warmest on record. Neither was it rainier than normal. Abbotsford experienced 98.7 millimtres of rain – much fewer than the 167-millimetre average.
He said the rest of the Lower Mainland also experienced a warmer and drier summer than normal.
So why might people almost unanimously think this year’s summer was chilly?
Well, it might depend a little on what you consider normal.
“It was a warm summer, but it wasn’t exactly hot and that’s in contrast with the past two summers,” MacDonald said.
Environment Canada’s “normal” temperatures refer to the 30-year average recorded between 1981 and 2010. With summers growing hotter and hotter, it’s expected that normal will jump up once the 30-year average is pegged to 1991 through 2020.
Either way, though, if you’ve lived a couple decades in Abbotsford, you’ve lived through many summers colder than that of 2019.
It might also be related to the fact that the summer had relatively limited instances of truly hot weather. While most summers see an average of seven degrees in which the temperature exceeds 30 C, this year only saw five such days. The hottest of the bunch came in June 12, when the day’s temperature of 31.2 C broke a record. That was the only daily temperature record to fall over the summer.
That’s in contrast to the last two years. Abbotsford experienced a startling 22 days above 30 C in 2018 and 11 such days in 2017. Those years, though, were anomalies and far from normal, MacDonald said.
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