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Summer 2021: The hottest, smokiest and driest on record

Josephine Young runs through a sprinkler as she takes a break from a bike ride near the Ottawa River on Tuesday July 7, 2020 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Adrian Wyld) Josephine Young runs through a sprinkler as she takes a break from a bike ride near the Ottawa River on Tuesday July 7, 2020 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Adrian Wyld)
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The numbers are in and it was a record-setting summer for many areas in Alberta.

Edmonton recorded more 30-degree days than ever before. The previous record was 14 days of 30+ . This year, we had 17!

Before this summer, only nine years had ever had 10 or more days in the 30s.

On top of that, Environment and Climate Change Canada says the mean temperature (combination of daily high and low) was almost 2.5 degrees above average and was the warmest on record.

Calgary, Banff and Grande Prairie also recorded their warmest summers.

Grande Prairie only has 87 years of records. But, Edmonton/Calgary/Banff all have records that date back over 125 years.

Red Deer, Lloydminster and Fort McMurray recorded their second-warmest summers.

 

Edmonton also had a record-setting summer in terms of precipitation. Average summer rainfall is 223 mm. This year, we had just 86 mm. That’s the driest summer on record.

 

Calgary set a record for most hours of smoke (although, records don’t date back as far). The 510 hours of smoke this summer topped the 450 hours of smoke that Calgary saw in 2018.

Edmonton had 125 hours of smoke (just over half of the 230 hours in 2018).

 

Severe weather reports:

  • Summer 2021 had 33 days with severe weather. That’s right around average (32 days);
  • But, there were far more reports of hail and severe wind;
  • 96 hail reports (average is 65);
  • 35 severe wind reports (average is 25);
  • Not surprisingly, there were no reports of heavy rain (average is 7)

 

Just two tornadoes were reported this summer (average is 10). Both tornadoes were EF-0 and both occurred south of Calgary (near Blackie & Longview) on June 5.

 

All data in this report is courtesy Environment and Climate Change Canada.