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CINDY DAY: If it doesn’t rain, we don’t eat

Dry weather is parching lawns in Nova Scotia this July.
Dry weather is parching lawns in Nova Scotia this July.

Where does time go? The month of July is already a little more than half over.  Depending on whom you ask, it’s either been a great month or a terrible one.

We’ve had a fair amount of sun and heat and that certainly pleases vacationers and beachgoers. Farmers and gardeners are singing a different tune; for them, rain is essential, regardless of the month or vacation schedules.

I’ve heard from many of you who say that your wells are low and the woods are tinder dry. Anecdotally it seems very dry. So off I go to the crunch some numbers.  Keep in mind that July 2018’s rain totals are tallied up to July 15th and the normal for July is for the entire month.

June 2018 vs Normal July 2018 vs Normal
Fredericton 96
mm/82 mm
30
mm/88 mm
Halifax 178
mm/96 mm
8 mm/96
mm
Charlottetown 152
mm/99 mm
12 mm/80 mm
Sydney 153
mm/97 mm
8
mm/89 mm
St. John's 139
mm/98 mm
17mm/93
mm
Corner Brook 34 mm/87 mm 20
mm/92 mm
Labrador City 59
mm/24 mm
24
mm/114 mm

The numbers don’t lie. With the exception of western Newfoundland and Labrador, June was a very wet month! Many Atlantic Canadian communities received almost double the rain they normal get! It’s interesting to note how quickly everything dried out after all the rain in June.

So far, July has been very dry across the Maritimes and western Newfoundland and Labrador. Having said that, parts of Newfoundland are not lacking when it comes to moisture. Effects of storms Chris and Beryl have taken care of keeping the forest fire index low: Gander checks in at over 90 mm for the month; St. Alban’s at 85 mm.

Cindy Day
Cindy Day

For those of us on the dry side of the scale, there is some relief coming: a slow-moving cold front will bring much needed rain July 18 and 19. There will likely be a few intense thunderstorm cells on the edge of the front - not something we want given the tinder dry forest beds.

I know that our summers are short and we want to get outside and enjoy the sun as much as possible, but the farmers need the rain more than we need a tan. Pick up a newspaper or a good book and read while the welcome rain dances on your roof!

Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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