Sioux Lookout breaks several temperature records during early July heat wave
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Environment Canada confirmed Sioux Lookout broke multiple daytime temperature records during the first week of July.
Sioux Lookout experienced climbing temperatures, consistently reaching above 30 degrees Celsius during the day. Environment Canada said the daytime highs experienced in July thus far have been approximately seven to nine degrees warmer than usual.
“There were several days where we broke records in Sioux Lookout. On July 3 at the Sioux Lookout Airport it got to 33.3 degrees, and the old record was 30.7 degrees that was set back in 1921. The next day we also broke a record. On July 4 it was 31.8 degrees, and the old record was 31.2 set back in 1988,” said Gerald Cheng, Meteorologist for Environment Canada.
“It certainly is above normal because the normal for Sioux Lookout around this time of the year is a daytime high of 24 (degrees Celsius) and a night time low of around 13 degrees.
“If the overnight low is not dropping low enough that’s when the heat becomes a big issue because people aren’t able to escape the warm temperatures even at night. We’ve incorporated that into our heat warning criteria. Looking at the latest stretch of days, it’s really the last several days that we’ve seen temperatures not dropping below that threshold during the night… To add to that the daytime highs have been high as well. It’s around seven to nine degrees above normal,” Cheng explained.
Cheng said data collected for July could balance out depending on how the rest of the month plays out. He said forecasts are pointing to temperatures remaining above the seasonal average throughout the summer.
“If we look at the month of July, which is roughly six days of data, the average daytime high is standing at 31 degrees for Sioux Lookout, and it should be about 24.2 degrees. There’s still a lot of July left, so we’ll have to see how that will play out. Right now, according to the forecast, things are still above seasonal but closer to seasonal… As we look ahead into the next two months there is signal that there’s a better chance for above normal temperatures then below,” he said.
Cheng said the recent heat and humidity are big factors in terms of storms and severe storms. He said Environment Canada is still compiling information to determine exactly what happened in North Caribou Lake (Weagamow) First Nation on July 3, where there have been reports of severe wind damage and a potential tornado.
“We’ve seen pictures of wind damage on several social media posts regarding Weagamow… We are trying to collect more information to find out exactly what happened. If people have more pictures of damage, we are asking them to post them on Twitter using the hashtag #ONStorm. Those really help us to find out what actually happened,” he said.
“The heat and humidity throughout the area are the necessary ingredients for thunderstorm development. We just need a disturbance to go through the area, and that will trigger severe thunderstorms,” he added.
For Sioux Lookout, Dryden and areas further east Environment Canada is reporting below average precipitation. For areas west, and far north, of Dryden and Sioux Lookout it’s been a different story.
“For Sioux Lookout it is below normal in terms of precipitation that we’ve seen in the last month… For Big Trout Lake, they had 180 millilitres of rain last month. If we compare that to the normal for Big Trout Lake they should be around 74 millilitres,” said Cheng.
“From Fort Frances and Dryden and then eastward into Thunder Bay you’re looking at below normal precipitation for the month of June. If you head farther west to the border of Manitoba and then up to the far north then you’re looking at above normal for the month of June,” he concluded.