Cool weather puts damper on sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties

Av­er­age tem­per­a­ture in July is 16.4 C


Life­guards are armed with blan­kets and sweaters this week as they cope with the cool con­di­tions that have put a real chill on sum­mer ac­tiv­i­ties for many Cape Bre­ton­ers.

On Wed­nes­day, just be­fore noon, the tem­per­a­ture of the wa­ter at Mira Gut beach was 16 C, a de­gree warmer than the air tem­per­a­ture that reg­is­tered at 15 C. With wind, fog and driz­zle added in for good mea­sure, not sur­pris­ingly there were no beach­go­ers in sight.

It was mak­ing for a long day for life­guards Justin Cashin, Al­lie Mac­Don­ald and Brianna MacLel­lan, who stayed warm in a beach hut when no one was on the beach.

De­scrib­ing it as “a cold sum­mer’s day,” Cashin said the last thing on most peo­ple’s minds this week is the beach.

“We’re get­ting a cou­ple peo­ple walk­ing their dogs or a fam­ily com­ing out to walk along the beach and look at shells or rocks or things like that, but no one is go­ing in the wa­ter at all,” he said. “The last lit­tle bit has def­i­nitely not been the great­est. It’s been windy and rainy and the waves have been big­ger than nor­mal.”

And the story has been sim­i­lar across Cape Bre­ton in re­cent days, with day­time highs of be­tween 13 and 15 C com­ing in well be­low the av­er­age day­time high of 23 C.

David Phillips, se­nior cli­ma­tol­o­gist with En­vi­ron­ment Canada, said the av­er­age tem­per­a­ture in Syd­ney so far in July is 16.4 C, about a de­gree and a half cooler than nor­mal.

“It’s not record-break­ing cold but it’s not some­thing that you’re nec­es­sar­ily used to,” he said.

“Last year was the warmest July in 47 years, so you were kinda spoiled, and the year be­fore that was also very warm.”

And the spring sea­son was also promis­ing with four days above 25 C in May, com­pared to only two so far in July.

“Tem­per­a­tures were more than a de­gree and a half warmer than nor­mal in May and then June was a set­back be­cause it was pretty cool in June and also July,” he said. “This June and July has been the cold­est in about 23 years.”

Phillips said the re­gion is stuck in an un­favourable weather pat­tern.

“The Ber­muda high, which was in full show­ing last year and which of­ten gives you your warm sum­mers, has been much fur­ther east, so it’s been in­flu­enc­ing Europe and not eastern North Amer­ica,” he said.

The im­me­di­ate forecast doesn’t show much of a turn­around for Cape Bre­ton — to­day’s day­time high is 19 C, while 15 C is the forecast high for Fri­day and Satur­day.

By Tues­day, things are ex­pected to warm up to 22 C and Phillips said Au­gust, Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber look promis­ing with tem­per­a­tures ex­pected to be warmer than nor­mal.

“I think na­ture is go­ing to try to make up for it in Au­gust,” he said.

“It looks like it’s go­ing to get bet­ter and on av­er­age Au­gust tends to be bet­ter than July.


Mira Gut beach life­guard Justin Cashin filled in the day’s wa­ter and air tem­per­a­ture data, while fel­low life­guards Al­lie Mac­Don­ald and Brianna MacLel­lan looked on Wed­nes­day. The wa­ter tem­per­a­ture was 16 C, a de­gree warmer than the air tem­per­a­ture of 15 C.


There was no one at Mira Gut beach late Wed­nes­day morn­ing, thanks to the cool, wet and windy con­di­tions that have been ex­pe­ri­enced across Cape Bre­ton in re­cent days.

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