Warmer summer with active storms expected: TWN

In this Wednesday, May 25, 2016 graphic from The Weather Network, the forecaster is calling for above normal temperatures for Eastern Ontario this summer and near-normal rainfall. (The Weather Network via Newswatch Group)

BROCKVILLE – Forecasters say Eastern Ontario will be pleasantly warm this summer with some bouts of cooler weather.

The Weather Network is out with its summer outlook for June, July and August, which is also calling for a more active storm season.

“We don’t expect it to be exceptionally hot but we do expect temperatures to average out warmer than the typical summer, especially during the second half,” meteorologist Doug Gillham told Brockville Newswatch.

“There will still be some bumps along the road to summer, so we’ll have some periods of cooler weather during the month of June,” Gillham said.

He doesn’t expect 2016 to be a “top ten summer for heat” but it will be warmer than the past three summers.

The average high in Eastern Ontario is 23 degrees in June, 26 in July and 25 in August.

As for rain, it will be around normal but the weather systems will be a little more “active.” Gillham says forecasting rain in the summer is difficult and rarely tells the full story of the season.

“It’s a pattern that’s a little more conducive to seeing episodes of strong to severe thunderstorms,” he said. The isolated thunderstorms will mean rainfall amounts will vary by location. “You can have a strong thunderstorm and have a field under water in one town and just a few kilometers away, not a drop of rainfall.”

Brockville normally sees about 80-90 millimeters of rain a month during the summer months.

But the region has seen a drier-than-normal spring, leading to concerns about drought.

In Brockville and Leeds-Grenville, there was 18 millimeters of rain so far this month and the normal is 84 millimeters. “That’s a significant deficit,” Gillham said.

“April was considerably below normal as well so that is a concern that…April and May combined have been very dry across Eastern Ontario. There’s an expression drought breeds drought, sometimes it’s hard to break out of a dry pattern,” Gillham said.

“But last year we were pretty dry at this point and the pattern changed enough that overwhelmed things and we had a pretty wet June so it’s something we’re concerned about but we do thing we will be trending back closer to normal as we go through the summer,” he said.

As for the spring outlook, Gillham says they got elements of the forecast right. “On a technicality, the final ten days of May will boost Brockville and Eastern Ontario on the positive side of normal. This final week will boost May above normal (temperature) but the reality is the second half of April and the first half of May were colder than we expected,” he said.

Looking back, Gillham said “near normal” would be a better description of spring in Eastern Ontario rather than their original forecast of “above normal.”

“It highlights these seasons of transition (that) have these wild swings. To say that this was a near normal spring also does not do justice to the spring because it was quite warm, quite cold, then we’ll finish quite warm and those balance out to near normal and yet most time periods during the spring weren’t close to normal.”