I wrote the first draft of this column Wednesday, last week. At that time, our regional forecast was for 60 per cent chance of showers on this Monday and Tuesday. That’s for the whole area from Peace River to McLennan to Slave Lake.
Since then, the forecasts have shifted from showers on Monday to rain Monday night. Tuesday showers, then rain, finally settling on cloudy Tuesday night. Wednesday started as showers, forecast changing to sun and cloud.
I’ve made a few comments on wonky forecasts over the past six months. Some of Canada’s top weather folks are addressing this. Basically, they say due to the El Nino weather situation out in the Pacific Ocean, forecasting these days for Canada is going to be hit or miss for awhile. Maybe more than awhile.
Diehard folks at the June Driftpile folk music fest always said, “It wouldn’t be a North Country Fair without rain.”
But not so much these days. In fact, the whole June ‘monsoon season’ the past few years since much of northern Alberta drowned out in 2020 has pretty well totally gone topsy-turvy.
Blame it on La Nina. Then La Nina transiting to El Nino. We are sure the nice folks are on the ball. They will use this opportunity to sort of go back in time, look at historical records, and see when similar weather situations existed. Maybe they can learn something.
Back here sitting on the deck, it’s actually business as usual. Grass is growing. Mosquitoes, because of dry weather, are few and far between. Our Saskatoon berry bushes and also our raspberries are not producing very well, but that’s more our own problem rather than weather, I think. But the rest of our garden seems to be doing quite well, even if we did plant a few weeks late this year.
We check weather reports a couple times per day. In winter, it’s nice to know if a blizzard or warm spell is on the way. In summer, its all about lightning, thunder, and rain, and what the weekend weather looks like.
But those weather predictions seemed to be going off track starting in January. Winter is supposed to be cold. It was. Spring is supposed to be warmer. It was. But when it was supposed to rain, it didn’t! When it was supposed be dry – well – the forecasters got that right!
But that whole March, April, May thing didn’t work out too well. Environment Canada forecasts two days ahead of time, never mind anything they might cook up for a week or more down the road were hopeless. I don’t write these things down so I can’t give you exact numbers how often it was right or wrong. My feeling is, not very right at all. It continues.
I see a lot of 30 per cent chance of showers. Lots of 60 per cent chance. Two weeks ago we were supposed to get three days of solid rain. I would say we got maybe one day of 70 per cent rain. The rest half showers.
Einstein once said, “God does not roll dice.”
Of course, Albert was talking about physics, not weather. But if he had added to his statement, “but. . .Mother Nature and weather forecasters do,” I would have believed him.