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.