In Newfoundland and Labrador, May month is not generally associated with scorching hot temperatures, but last Tuesday was a totally different story.
According to Herb Thoms, emergency preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada, the above 30-degree temperatures on May 22 smashed records across the province, making last Tuesday the hottest May day in the province’s recorded weather history.
But that’s not all – Thoms said in many places last Tuesday, it was hotter than any day all last summer.
Weather recording stations that broke both records included Badger, Gander, Twillingate, LaScie and Cartwright.
St. John’s and Goose Bay both broke records for May, but both areas had warmer days last summer.
Thoms said the heat was a result of several factors lining up on that particular day.
“We had lot of sunshine and warm southwest winds,” said Thoms. “The two things kind of combined to give very warm conditions for central and northeast Newfoundland and in through eastern Labrador.”
He added that due to the position of the south and west coasts of Newfoundland, southwest winds blow on shore, which moderates the hot temperatures.
As many people have probably noticed, it wasn’t just that one record-breaking day that offered heat and sunshine, many places across the province have been experiencing generally sunnier and warmer days than last year.
And according to Thoms, Newfoundlanders can expect more of that over the next few months.
He said Environment Canada’s prediction models for the rest of May, June and July shows a strong signal for above average temperatures on the island of Newfoundland, and across Canada.
“A lot of that has to do with above normal temperatures in the ocean south of Newfoundland,” said Thoms. “The water is above normal, so to predict above normal temperatures on an island is not a big stretch.”
While it seems like this spring has seen less rain and drizzle then last – many places last year experienced higher than normal precipitation amounts – Thoms said a long-term precipitation forecast is harder to accurately predict.
“We have a lot of confidence in our temperature forecasts, but when it comes to seasonal precipitation forecasts, we’re less confident,” he said.
Thoms said the information Environment Canada has for the next three months based on their prediction models for precipitation is not showing a strong signal one way or another for above, near or below normal rainfall.
“That could perhaps mean near normal, but it’s difficult to say.”
Record breaking heat
These temperatures at their recorded locations in Newfoundland and Labrador broke records last Tuesday not only for the hottest May day on record, but were also warmer than any other day last summer.
Badger – 31.8 degrees
Gander – 31.0 degrees
Twillingate – 28.3 degrees
La Scie – 30.5 degrees
Cartwright – 31.3 degrees
Both Goose Bay and St. John’s broke records for May with temperatures of 30.1 degrees and 25.9 degrees respectively, but both places had warmer days last summer.