By Adam Fenech and Don Jardine
The month of September 2014 was warmer and wetter than normal – the ‘climate normal’ being the average of 30 years of daily observations from 1981-2010. During the month of September 2014, the average temperature in Charlottetown was 0.4°C warmer than the climate normal of 14.1°C; and 16.3 millimetres (mm) or 17% wetter than the normal precipitation of 95.9 mm. The Climate Research Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island has established seven climate stations to begin tracking the local climates across the Island. These initial seven (7) stations have been established on private properties at Winsloe South, Flat River, Orwell Cove, Foxley River, Dingwell’s Mills, Argyle Shore and Cardigan Head.
All UPEI stations exceeded the 30-year monthly mean temperature at Charlottetown Airport (‘climate normal’) with the Orwell Cove station the warmest exceeding the climate normal by 1.4°C. The two stations in Kings County at Dingwell’s Mills and Cardigan Head recorded the coolest monthly mean temperatures at 14.4°C. The coldest daily temperature for the month at the UPEI stations was -1.7°C, recorded at Cardigan Head on September 20th. This did not break the extreme minimum temperature record for the month of September on Prince Edward Island of -3.3°C which was recorded at Long River, PEI on September 28, 1971. The maximum temperature for the month was recorded at Winsloe South and Foxley River at 27.8°C on September 5. Equally warm highs were reached late in the month on September 28.
These stations measured varied amounts of precipitation across the province during September 2014, but all were at or above normal. The highest amounts were at Argyle Shore (although this station is an experimental new device that reports to your iPad and iPhone so its integrity and calibration need to be tested) and Cardigan Head. A significant rainfall event (storm) occurred on September 21st and 22nd depositing 71.1 mm at the UPEI Station at Cardigan Head. An Environment Canada climate station at Cable Head (St. Peter’s) reported a total of 90.8 mm during this event while the Environment Canada climate station at Charlottetown Airport reported 79.2 mm. This storm caused flooding in the southeastern section of Charlottetown near the Holland College Campus where students were photographed wading through knee-high water.
So while the Climate Research Lab at the University of Prince Edward Island is closely tracking the climate across Prince Edward Island, it is not the only one. Canada’s official Meteorological Service at Environment Canada maintains nine (9) hourly climate observation stations plus two (2) daily observation stations across the Island. Environment Canada also supports six (6) PEI climate observers who measure only the depth of snow in wintertime. Provincial agencies such as the PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry (9) and the PEI Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (5) maintain climate observing stations for their own purposes, be it crop insurance or road conditions. There are many PEI volunteers who report their climate observations through the Weather Underground (14), a kind of citizen science program. And even the Confederation Bridge monitors the climate to report on bridge conditions.
UPEI’s Climate Lab is bringing all of these observations together into one dataset in order to report a current climate conditions map of Prince Edward Island (stay tuned) using the most stations reporting (should be about 46 stations). Over the next few years, the Climate Lab will also be establishing more climate stations on private properties. If you are interested in being a candidate for this equipment, please contact us.
. PEI’s first Weather Trivia Calendar for 2015 titled ‘Some Weather We’re Having’, is available for purchase at bookstores across the Island, Murphy’s Pharmacies and at the website peiweathercalendar.ca. The authors, Don Jardine and Adam Fenech, will be reading from the calendar at libraries across the Island starting at 6:30pm at Murray Harbour (November 3); Cornwall (November 5); Stratford (November 12); Breadalbane (November 13); Summerside (November 18); Montague (November 19); Borden (November 20); Souris (November 25); Hunter River (November 26); and Charlottetown (November 27).
. A fine night of music, food and drinks will re-launch the 2015 PEI Weather Trivia Calendar at the Pourhouse upstairs at the Old Triangle Pub on 89 University Avenue on November 4 starting at 7 pm.
Questions? Contact Adam Fenech at email@example.com or (902) 620-5220