What’s up with all the summer rain in Halifax’s forecast? | News | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

What’s up with all the summer rain in Halifax’s forecast?

The HRM saw more than double the usual rainfall in June—and the first days of July haven’t offered much in the way of relief. But it’s coming, meteorologists say.

It hasn’t been a summer for hanging clothes out to dry. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Halifax Stanfield International Airport saw 20 days with at least some amount of rainfall in June. That’s second only to famously icy January (26 days of rain and snow) for precipitation in the past 12 months, and nearly the same amount of drizzly days that June and July combined for (21) in 2022.

All of those showers have added up: Halifax received 213.7 millimetres of rain in June, more than double the month’s average of 96.2 mm. And July hasn’t been much drier—in the first four days alone, Halifax has seen nearly half (43.3 mm) of the monthly rainfall average (95.5 mm) for this time of year.

“It certainly was a very wet month compared to normal,” Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Ian Hubbard tells The Coast. That’s a result of a “couple of different events,” he says: First, a low-pressure system “that kind of got stalled” near the Maritimes, and more recently a weather pattern of moisture-laden winds blowing off the water and over Nova Scotia.

“What a low-pressure system off the coast does is it continually pumps moisture over the land—and that’s basically what we saw during the early part of June,” Hubbard says.

“The wind, the precipitation, they’re all tied together. But when you get into a pattern where there’s not a lot of movement… and you’re not having a nice ridge of high pressure with drier air pushing in, you’re basically just going to stay in the same situation.”

Halifax isn’t the only part of Nova Scotia getting hit, either. Yarmouth saw nearly double its usual rainfall totals in June (161.7 mm, compared to an average of 94.8 mm). Greenwood saw even more (200.8 mm, compared to an average of 81.0 mm). Kejimkujik had its rainiest June on record, with a deluge-like 345 mm.

Hubbard says the weather itself isn’t unique, but it’s later than usual; typically, Halifax might have expected the rain to arrive in April and May, but those months were drier than normal.

“It’s just a little bit pushed into July and the end of June—or a lot of June.”

Sunny days ahead—but rain to follow

If you’re waiting for a break in the clouds, the end of the week’s forecast should offer some brief comfort. According to Environment Canada’s Thursday projections, Halifax could see morning and early afternoon sunshine, followed by a hot weekend: Friday and Saturday call for highs of 31 and 30 C, with sunny conditions. Sunday calls for a mix of sun and cloud, with a high of 28 C.

click to enlarge A sunny afternoon at People's Park on May 31, 2023.
Martin Bauman / The Coast
A sunny afternoon at People's Park on May 31, 2023.

That’s expected to shift back to rain by Monday and Tuesday, Hubbard says, thanks to a low-pressure centre moving up the Eastern seaboard.

“It’s not a very strong one at this point—certainly not in terms of being a very significant weather maker,” he tells The Coast, “but it’s enough that when it moves up and kind of stalls again off the coast, we’re going to see it bringing in moisture.

“Even on days where maybe there’s not precipitation, if you're getting this easterly or southeast to northeast wind… you still get that drizzle and fog along there, which keeps that dampness around.”

Martin Bauman

Martin Bauman, The Coast's News & Business Reporter, is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Capital Daily, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. In 2020, he was named one of five “emergent” nonfiction writers by the RBC Taylor Prize...
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