A never-end­ing spring

Orleans Star - - EDITORIAL & OPINION - Pa­tri­cia LON­ER­GAN An­other Take

It feels like a cool, soggy sum­mer so far, as though spring de­cided to stick around and push the warm, lazy sum­mer days to the side­lines.

While there’ve been some warm sunny days, it seems the sea­son has been bogged down with cloudy skies and rain. Some­times it’s hard to be­lieve it is ac­tu­ally mid-July.

Wet and stormy seem to be the legacy of this sum­mer so far. Re­ally, it’s all any­one talks about lately. All the chit chat cen­tres around the sum­mer that’s failed to show up.

This is a city where res­i­dents can ex­pect day­time sum­mer tem­per­a­tures to be well above 20 Cel­sius, go­ing as high as 30.

This year, though, it ap­pears that a sunny day with day­time tem­per­a­tures in the low 20s is worth com­ment. Ac­tu­ally, any amount of sun­shine elic­its ex­cla­ma­tions of how beau­ti­ful it is out­side.

In­stead of sun-drenched pa­tio par­ties and bar­be­ques, there’s an im­pres­sion this sea­son is of­fer­ing up storm af­ter storm. Warn­ings about fun­nel clouds in the re­gion were is­sued a few weeks ago. This past week­end, thun­der­storms just didn’t seem to want to let up. Af­ter the storm passed and sun­shine broke through to cre­ate a muggy Satur­day, rum­bling in the dis­tance could be heard. Sure enough, an­other line of storm clouds rolled in and pro­duced an­other light­ning dis­play be­fore once again giv­ing way to sun­shine. Wash and re­peat seemed to be the mantra of the week­end, leav­ing pock­ets of the city without elec­tric­ity. Ottawa, how­ever, fared bet­ter than oth­ers, where the storm left a trail of dam­age in South­ern On­tario and spawned a tor­nado in the north.

De­spite all the com­plaints around the wa­ter cooler, the be­lief that the sum­mer has failed to ma­te­ri­al­ize might be just that: per­cep­tion. A news release from En­vi­ron­ment Canada noted, “Sum­mer has re­turned with sea­son­ably warm tem­per­a­tures, and also sea­son­able pre­cip­i­ta­tion amounts. It was a gen­tle June.”

In fact, June was the dri­est it’s been since 2007, ac­cord­ing to the release, with only 54.4 mil­lime­tres of rain fall­ing dur­ing the month. That’s a marked con­trast to last June, which saw 106.6 mm of rain as op­posed to the 85 mm or so Ottawa gen­er­ally re­ceives.

How July will shape up re­mains to be seen. Ac­cord­ing to the Weather Net­work, from July 112, res­i­dents have seen a high of 26.7, a low of 10.7 (both on Fri­day, July 10, as it turns out) and 67.2 mm of ac­cu­mu­lated pre­cip­i­ta­tion. With an av­er­age ac­cu­mu­la­tion of 87 mm, Ottawa was more than half­way to its norm be­fore mid-month.

In what will not come as a shock to most, there’s more rain in the fore­cast for this week – maybe as much as 15 mm on Thurs­day.

If spring show­ers bring May flow­ers, then sum­mer rains are cer­tainly keep­ing lawns lush and green. Brown, dried patches of grass have not been much of a prob­lem this year. The veg­e­ta­tion is thriv­ing even if peo­ple are be­moan­ing the weather.

While per­cep­tion has most talk­ing about the mis­er­able, damp sum­mer so far, the good news is that it’s not over. There’s still a good month and a half left. With any luck, those warm, lazy days are com­ing.

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