The May long weekend has long trumpeted the arrival of the summer season to Canada, and for many people it’s an excuse to unpack the tents, throw some drinks in the cooler and enjoy time with friends outdoors.
Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t always cooperate, and that has the potential to set a negative tone for the rest of the summer.
“It is probably one of the most important weekends of the year to not only get the forecast right, but if there was a way to cook it so we could have perfect weather, we would,” mused meteorologist David Phillips of Environment Canada.
“A lot of plans are made on this weekend. People look at it as the first weekend of summer, and even though there is a month to go, it is the kickoff to the summer season.”
While the wet, cool weather this past week may have left many hoping for a clear and sunny weekend ahead, it would seem that this May long weekend is destined to be one of rain and thunderstorms.
The outlook for Saturday is a 40 per cent chance of showers, an 80 per cent on Sunday along with thundershowers, and a 90 per cent chance of rain on the holiday Monday, with the threat of thunder showers yet again.
One bright side of the weekend will be that it is expected to warm up considerably from the single-digit temperatures we endured earlier in the week. Friday should reach 22 degrees, Sunday could touch 24 degrees, and Monday could see highs of 22, with lows in the evening never dipping below 11 degrees.
Another bonus to this wet weather is that diehard campers and outdoor enthusiasts shouldn’t have any problem booking a campsite, said Phillips, but he added that farmers and gardeners – two groups who rely heavily on the weather – are less than happy with spring thus far.
Leading up to last Sunday, May had seen 64 mm of rainfall, while May typically only sees about 78 mm of rain for the entire month – a fitting continuation of the record precipitation we saw in April when 95 mm of precipitation fell to the ground, easily surpassing the monthly average of 76 mm.
Phillips added that with the rain we’ve seen this week and into the weekend, it’s likely we’ll surpass May’s average precipitation rates as well.
He attributes the wet spring to what he called a “stalling, stationary pattern” of wet weather where large storms are sticking around like unwanted houseguests, rather than hitting and running like weather typically does in Ontario.
Regardless of the wet weather we have now, he also said that the large amounts of rain we have gotten this spring – though much maligned – could prove to be a boon for our lawns and fields this summer if predictions of warmer-than-normal temperatures prove to be accurate.
“It may prevent us from using that ‘d’ word, drought. So I always say the weather we’re cursing now may be the weather we are thankful for later.”