Record month for Friendly City
Moose Jaw is about to finish off its driest July since 1894, according to Environment Canada.
Since the beginning of the month, the city has only received 0.2 mm of precipitation, “so barely a trace,” said Natalie Hasell, warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.
June and July’s precipitation is a combined 34.6 mm, and is a record low for those two months. Even the spring was drier than usual, since data compiling rainfall from March to July 27, only add up to 72.4 mm. Again, the lowest in well over a century.
And while it may seem extra hot to many, Moose Jaw is right around normal for this time of year, if you’re looking at the mean average.
By averaging the daytime and nighttime temperature, Environment Canada determined that Moose Jaw’s average is 19.1, whereas the regulated normal between 1981 and 2010 is 19.3.
“So your temperatures are actually right on normal,” said Hasell.
For daytime highs in July, she said Moose Jaw has been around 28 degrees. But there have been much hotter days, such as July 10th when it was 35.8 degrees.
“The saving grace for the month I think has been the overnight temperatures,” said Hasell.
Overnight temperatures have been slightly lower than normal. Generally, they sit around 12.3 degrees, but this month are 10.2.
“So, it’s the overnight temperatures that have made the average close to normal,” she said.
While sunbathers, campers and lake goers may all by enjoying this dry heat, farmers and ranchers are not.
Because of the dry heat, farmers in the area could be facing lower than normal crop yields said Brent Flaten, integrated pest management specialist, with Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Moose Jaw.
“This hot weather is going to hurry stuff along, some plants are just dying back because they are running out of moisture,” he said.
Some pest, such as grasshoppers, are more present when there is dry heat.
“They’re not picky,” said Flaten, “they’ll pretty much go for any crop.”
There is not much farmers can do, he said, but wait out the situation and pray for some rain.
Unfortunately for farmers, Environment Canada is not predicting much rain, if any at all, in the short-term forecast.
“Unless things dramatically change by the end of the month,” said Hasell, “you will see the driest values for July in a number of time periods.”
The saving grace for the month I think has been the overnight temperatures Natalie Hasell, warning preparedness meteorologist, Environment Canada