There is no doubt about it – summer is over.
Although not officially fall until Sept. 23, the dramatic weather change that occurred last weekend have many in Woolwich and Wellesley townships ditching their tank tops and shorts for sweaters and pants.
The weather changed fast over the Labour Day weekend from a high of 32 degrees on Saturday to a high of 15 degrees on Monday.
“It was a brutal change, but that is not surprising for the month of September,” said Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips.
The last time we saw temperatures like Labour Day Monday was almost two and half months ago and it can be quite the shock to the system.
“We should be use to it as Canadians but we are not, we never are. Part of it is psychological and part physiological,” said Phillips. “We all want to be able to ease into these things but this was just a reminder, it’s nature’s way of telling us that summer is not going to go on forever.”
Phillips said the quick change in weather came from some very strong winds from the north that saw many dealing with humidex one day and a wind chill the next.
“It’s not as if we rush from summer to winter: there is a legitimate season called fall. People should be thinking about the fall and not worrying about the winter.”
Typically we have a month and a half before we will see frost and at least two months to go before we even get a dusting of snow, and significant snowfall is not expected to come until after Remembrance Day, he explained.
Economically it is a good time of year as we generally don’t spend money on air conditioning or heating – “it’s a free energy time.”
Phillips said Environment Canada is expecting September to be warmer and drier than normal.
“Not every day is going to be warm, it never is. This is a forecast for the entire month and statistically when we come to the end of September if it has been warm and dry we have won one.”
Typically highs in Woolwich and Wellesley townships during September should be 21 degrees with a low of 10 degrees.
“(Labour Day) gave us a shock but we are easing back into something more typical and should see the temperatures rise slightly above normal. We are not rushing towards winter but we will not be returning to the temperatures of July either; we may see the odd day here and there where we will see temperatures in the 30s.”
Warmer temperatures may even reach into October much like last year that saw a Thanksgiving where it was so hot people were barbecuing their turkeys.
“Our models are showing that overall the fall should be slightly above normal temperatures and it will be warm and comfortable,” said Phillips.
From a precipitation point of view we should see normal conditions this fall.
“We had a good summer it was warmer than normal and quite dry, July this year was record dry but the rains came back in August, which will help the harvest this fall. This is good weather for growers, they are a little bit behind but they should see a good quality in there crop. We will be seeing a good back end of the growing season with positive results.”
The weather is always unpredictable and can change at any moment, as seen last weekend when a flash thunderstorm ripped through St. Jacobs, causing vendors’ stands to be upended and damaging parts of building at the farmers’ market.
Environment Canada confirmed that damage caused by the storm came from wind gusts as high as 100 kilometres an hour, but it was not a tornado.