Gloomy weather not always wet

Brad Works
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AMHERST - June was greyer than it was wet - a trend, say meteorologists, that is not over.

"It just seems wetter," Environment Canada meteorologist Linda Libby said Thursday. "It's a case where you're getting a little bit each day, especially for the past two weeks or so."

In fact, while the summer sun seems scare, rainfall too has been less than average.

"You only had four days with significant precipitation," Libby said. "You're pretty much bang-on normal."

June's rainfall was 81.4 millimetres, 36.4mm of that fell on June 12 with another 15mm falling on the 22nd. June's historical average is 83.1mm.

People from Sydney, N.S., however, where more than 200mm of rain fell last month, would probably consider it drought-like here.

There has, however, only been two days since June 20 without some rain falling on Cumberland County.

It's a fact that has not been lost on local campground operators.

"It seems worse this year for sure," said John Best, manager of the Glooscap Campground in Parrsboro. "It hurts. It seems it usually happens on weekends."

He said one bad forecast may make visitors change their plans.

"You have people coming all that way and if they can't even have a campfire it affects their stay," he said. "But it's not the amount of rain it's the way it's been with the clouds and the drizzle."

Temperatures in the county have also been average, with daytime highs of 20.8C this year - matching the actual 30-year average. The hottest day in June was the 25th at 26.1C, far short of 1941's record of 31.7C.

The coolest June day this year was 9.8C. The average low for June this year 9.2C, much warmer than the record June low of -3.3C that occurred in 1914.

"It's a case of being cloudy and cooler," Libby said. "You have cloud cover that keeps it from cooling overnight and also keeps you from heating up in the day."

The extended forecast is for more of the same.

"Unfortunately our upper pattern isn't changing too much," Libby said. "In the short term we're still looking at cloudy and wettish. We see these bands of clouds rotating around this low pressure system."

She said there are two likely options for the weather to pull out of its grey pattern. Eroding slowing, wiping itself out by using friction from the ground, or, and perhaps better for those in the tourist industry, having another weather system as large as this one coming in and pushing it out.

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Sydney, Cumberland County, Parrsboro

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