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This article was published 29/8/2017 (297 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It was a Goldilocks summer: not too warm, not too cold, not too wet, but just right.
That’s according to David Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada, who says the rest of the country would have given up their eye teeth for the summer weather the province enjoyed.
The kind of weather that keeps people outside enjoying the sun, the grass green, farmers’ crops fed, mosquitoes nowhere to be found, forests without fires, water temperatures warm and air conditioning bills low.
"I can’t speak more highly about your weather this summer. It’s almost as if that should be on your bumper stickers: we had the best summer in Canada. It’s almost so good you can’t care how the winter is going to be," Phillips said.
"We’ve seen lots of dry and hot weather in the west and to east there’s been coolish and wetish weather. Quebec and Ontario are still waiting for summer to arrive and it’s almost over. It’s as if you’ve been hoarding all the good weather. You should send some of it out to us."
Friendly Manitoba was the only province to get the best of the weather on both sides of its borders, the dry heat in the west and the cold and wet in the east combining into a perfect sweet spot here in the heart of the country.
By any possible metric – precipitation, temperature, warm and dry weather on weekends – Manitoba hit the jackpot, Phillips said.
"It was sunshine symbols right across the 7 day forecast. It’s almost as if the weather was delightfully boring — which, let me tell you, is what you want. There’s nothing disparaging I can say, it was golden. You’ve used up all your IOUs so to speak. You’ve got nothing left in the bank," he continued.
While Manitoba had fewer days than normal when the afternoon high rose above 30 degrees, the temperature often sat in the 27 to 29 degree range, Phillips said.
"You can drink beer in that afternoon high. You don’t need it 30 degrees."
What that means is the amount of really hot and humid days were significantly lower than normal, while Winnipeggers routinely enjoyed temperatures that were warm but not scorching.
Between May to August the province received 168 mm of rain, while normally it would see 296 mm. That’s what Phillips describes as "pleasantly dry, not critically dry," since backyard gardeners and farmers still got the rain when they needed it.
Winnipeg saw 34 days with some precipitation, while normally there’d be 47 days, which equals more stretches of dry weather.
But most important of all is where those dry spells fell, he said.
"It was the weekend. Oh my God, we live for the weekends as Canadians. In July and August there were 18 days that fell on weekends or holiday Mondays and it only rained on two of those days. It didn’t matter if people wanted to go barbequing, tenting, camping, off to festivals or off to the cottage, it was spectacular," Phillips said.
Phillips isn’t the only one singing this summer’s praises. Echoing him was Ken Nawolsky, the city’s superintendent of insect control.
This summer saw the city have a "record breaking year" with "historic lows" for mosquito levels.
Normally at the peak of summer Nawolsky and his team will find 78 mosquitoes on average in the traps stationed around the city. This year the highest they ever found was 19, which he describes as a "temporary blip." On average, trap counts hovered in the five to 10 range.
"We didn’t have a need to fog this year as we avoided the heavy rainfalls. And come these last three weeks we’ve had no rain which means there won’t be any future generations of mosquitoes. We won’t see any more of them for the season," Nawolsky said.
Noel Bernier, a shareholder in multiple restaurants in the city, says the weather also impacted the food industry.
Of all the restaurants he’s involved with, the ones with patios saw an increase in sales, while those without saw a directly proportional decrease.
"We’ve definitely noticed it. The amount of money being spent in the city doesn’t really change, but the flow of that money is highly affected by the weather," he said.
"It would have been generalized around the city, absolutely. It’s actually inarguable. More money was flowing to anything outdoorsy – places with patios, ice cream shops, even The Forks outdoors people I’m sure had a great summer."
However you want to chalk it up, Manitobans — and Winnipeggers especially — had nothing to complain about this summer, even if they’ll still find a way to, Phillips said.
"There’s always going to be someone complaining about the weather. Either it’s too hot or it’s too cold. But you really did have the Goldilocks weather this summer. It was right where you wanted it to be and with those weekends it gets bumped up to 10 out of 10."
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.
Updated on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 8:25 PM CDT: fixes units of precipitation and updates headline