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Extreme heat gives way to extreme rainfall

Posted on August 26, 2014 by Maple Creek

It hasn’t been your average August weather in the Southwest.

From extreme heat to extreme rain, the month has been full of odd weather patterns in the area.

In Maple Creek, four days with temperatures over 30 C were later followed by five days of heavy rainfall.

In fact, a heat alert was issued for southern Saskatchewan on Aug. 14 when 36 C felt like 40 C with the humidex, and a heavy rainfall warning was in place for Maple Creek and Cypress Hills Aug. 23 and 24.

This month, Maple Creek received two-and-a-half times the amount of rain it typically does – the majority of it falling late last week. About 112 millimetres of rain has fallen so far, with almost 35 mm falling on Aug. 22.

The high on Sunday was 11 C, with 10.5 mm more rain.

Contrast that to 10 days earlier when temperatures hit 36 C on Aug. 13 and 14.

Environment Canada’s senior meteorologist David Phillips noted the “real soaker” came too late for farmers in the area after three dry months.

Despite this, he said August is still slightly warmer than normal.

“It’s not as if it’s been a cold kind of summer, and what you saw (Sunday) is not unusual,” he explained. “You get near the end of August that kind of back-and-forth where you get the American air of 30 C temperatures, then you get the Canadian air where you get single-digit temperatures.”

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park saw the most rain in the province over the past week, receiving 100 mm between Aug. 21 and 24. In total, the park has had a whopping 130 mm of precipitation so far this month. The park typically sees about 47 mm of rain in August.

A new extreme rainfall record for August was set when the park had 61 mm on Aug. 22. The previous record for the month was 43.2 mm on Aug. 24, 1989.

Cypress Hills also hit a new low on Aug. 24, recording its lowest temperature that day at just 4.5 C. The previous record was 4.7 C set in 2010.

Temperatures are typically around 24 C this time of year. The average for Maple Creek this month is 26 C.

Phillips said the upside is this week looks like it will be nothing but sunny, dry weather.

“The good news for anybody involved in agriculture… is that it is sunny and no frost,” he stated.

For September, the meteorologist said not to expect balmy temperatures. In fact, it may be a little cooler than normal.

“It looks like a little cooler than normal, but we’re calling for the months of September and October together to be normal to a little bit warmer than normal,” Phillips said. “I don’t think we’re going to rush to early winter.”

Tomorrow is expected to be sunny with a high of 27 C, while Thursday will see more sun and 26 C.

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