The end-of-summer forecast for Atlantic Canada should make Nova Scotians think twice about putting away their shades and flip-flops.
Environment Canada is forecasting a warmer-than-normal August and September for Canada’s east coast, building on a summer-long trend of consistently high temperatures.
“If you’ve had your summer holidays in July, don’t think that you’ve used up your full allotment of warm days,” said David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada.
“The good beer-drinking and muscle shirt and tank top weather continues.”
At 20.2 C, the average temperature for Halifax last month was nearly 1.5 degrees warmer than the July norm.
What’s more, Phillips said the city enjoyed a full 21 days of above-25-degree weather in July, compared to the usual 13 days.
“It’s almost as if you couldn’t have ordered better weather,” he said, describing the conditions as positive for the region’s farmers. “It’s that consistency that you dream of.”
One Annapolis Valley grower agreed the year had been reasonable so far, despite spring’s late arrival.
“It’s been one of the better ones here in the valley for the amount of moisture,” said Greg Webster of Webster’s Farms, a u-pick in Cambridge, Kings County.
“The biggest challenge has been working around the weather to get crops harvested.”
Still, the humidity has posed challenges for other growers.
The hot, wet conditions are ideal for mildew and fungal diseases that affect grapes, said Simon Rafuse, a winemaker at Blomidon Estate Winery near Canning.
“Every year has been so different for the last little while. It’s hard to draw parallels to anything in recent memory,” he added about the weather’s variability.
“I think it’s the fluctuations that do make it challenging,” said Rafuse. “We do our best to ride out the storm. But that’s farming, right?”