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Would it really be so bad to have a cool day?

Hart Attacks: In the era of climate change, I should be careful about the kind of weather I wish for

I am really sick of weather forecasters here in Calgary this summer. Finally, this morning one started to make sense — cool, wet days ahead.

It doesn’t seem to matter that half of Western Canada is on fire, crops are parched, and ponds and creeks are dry, these forecasters keep telling me here in Calgary (and Alberta) “another beautiful day or another beautiful week ahead — temperatures around 30 C, no rain, in sight.”

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Where in the weather forecaster manual does it define a beautiful day as only being “30 C-plus and no rain?”

If anyone had asked, I am sick of sunny 30 C plus days. The novelty of that ran out sometime in June. Give me mixed sun and cloud and 22 C (maybe spiking to 25 C) and I’m happy. Throw in one or two days of rain or showers every week to 10 days, and life is getting just about perfect. Eight weeks of sunny 30 C weather isn’t doing it for me. At this stage of life I’m not worried about my tan lines.

The odd person has said, “I love the heat, the hotter the better.” They’ve already been out in the sun too long.

The North American summer weather was a mixed bag. B.C. was burning up, most of the Prairies had no significant rainfall (at least according to my rain gauge). But friends in Eastern Ontario could count on one hand the number of dry days they had. Their ditches were running full of water in early September. Feast or famine.

And then the southern United States dealt with some of the most powerful hurricanes on record. It is difficult to image regions getting three, four and even five feet (yes feet) of rain in just two or three days. By comparison, the 2013 flood that brought parts of Calgary to a standstill was caused by about 13 inches of rain over a couple days. Hard to imagine adding another four feet of rain to that. There is low-lying flood plane in Calgary, but most of the city has hills or at least rolling topography. Some of those coastal U.S. regions appear to be pool-table flat for hundreds of miles.

Maybe it’s because Western Canada got a pretty good soaking last year, but I consistently heard late summer reports from farmers and ranchers about how good the crops/pastures are this year, considering the dry conditions. Perhaps there are some disaster areas, but for the most part crops held up pretty good despite the lack of moisture. Likely no bumper crops, and most may be below average, but still, yields are better than expected. But all say some fall or winter moisture will be needed in coming months to build up soil moisture reserves. Am I foreshadowing a severe winter?

Is this all about the effect of climate change? I suspect it is. As Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips has cautioned us for some time climate change will come with volatile weather events — major extremes. One of the wettest summers in Calgary last year, followed by one of the hottest and driest on record this year.

Watching analysis of the U.S. hurricane events on TV, experts say there aren’t more storms stacking up in the Atlantic, but climate change will make hurricanes more intense. And that seems to be happening.

Never mind corn and soybeans, if these hot summers keep up Alberta Agriculture’s crop diversification centre at Brooks will be testing pineapple and banana crops. And, preferring cooler summer temps, I may open the first Grainews office in Yellowknife. I’m sure I will be able to find something there to complain about.

Of course, if you’re not convinced of climate change there is another theory being advanced about all this extreme weather and natural disasters such as the recent earthquake in Mexico: the end of world.

Author David Meade, a research scientist by training is saying the end of the world is nigh. He believes the book of Revelations in the Bible along with the Great Pyramid of Giza have both predicted the apocalypse will be upon us before the end of September.

He’s predicting an unseen planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru is on a collision course with Earth, with estimated impact about the third week of September. Don’t get too cocky if you are reading this column in the fourth week of September. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s wrong, only that his calculations were perhaps off by a day or two.

In any event, if you’re smart like me get out and check those lottery tickets. I personally don’t want to go out in a blaze of glory, if there is the slightest chance I could have had the thrill (even for fleeting moments) of holding one of those oversized jackpot cheques. That would be cool.

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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