Weather in Cobourg Ontario can at times be fickle or unique compared to many other weather trends occurring at any given time across the rest of Ontario.
Weather is always in the back of my mind, as a person whose livelihood depends greatly on weather (Lawn Care and Snow Service) and what trends are unfolding on a daily, monthly or yearly basis.
As I am a firm believer in Global Warming or lets say Climate change, weather and precipitation patterns have become more extreme.
As I am writing these comments there is no snow on the ground at all in Cobourg, Ontario and the date is February 19th with temperatures at or below normal fro this time of the year. As the rest (or most of) the world thinks we live in Igloos or we are from the great white north, this year is definitely not the case.
This is a El Nino year, that I believe is unique, as we have and cold dry temperature patterns. Our only large precipitation events this winter have all been significant rain events.
The latest one occurred on January 25th when severe (100 year) flooding took place, here are some of my pictures taken later in the afternoon when waters had already started to recede.
During the height of the flooding major intersections had up to 3ft. of water.
What exactly is El Nino? Here are some excerpts from one our more famous Canadian weather and climate champions, David Suzukis' website.
"In essence, an El Niño event happens when an enormous puddle of warm water, which normally sits near Indonesia, sloshes across the Pacific to take up residence around Peru. For centuries, Peruvians have known El Niño to recur every three to seven years, rarely lasting longer than one year each. Usually they were followed by a strong cooling of the equatorial Pacific, a complementary phase termed "La Niña."
El Niño in North America
"While El Niño is sitting off the west coast of the Americas, it shifts the flow of air over North America, altering weather patterns across the continent. Notice the small jetstream which forms over the southern USA."
"In Canada this produces weather significantly drier and warmer than normal, with more frequent droughts in the summer. The southern jetstream produced by the 97/98 El Niño set the stage for the ice storm that devastated eastern Canada. During a La Niña the air flow pattern relaxes, and abnormally cool, wet conditions prevail from BC to southern Quebec."
These relaxed patterns are what we have experienced over the last few previous years with cool wet summers and large amounts of snowfall during the winter.
Ask any "Cobourgians" what the Weather in Cobourg Ontario the last couple of summers were like to go golfing or camping or even to go out and get a sun tan.
Back to the weather patterns at hand lately, this winter has only seen one snow event that was over 2" and that was in early December. This snow storm ended in rain and alot of it, since then there have been a couple of skiffs of snow (all less than 1/2 an inch of snow) and were mostly related to lake effect conditions or wrap around snow from larger storms coming up the Atlantic seaboard.
What does that mean for upcoming Weather in Cobourg Ontario, or for that matter the rest of Southern Ontario? I believe based on past winters that have been like this that it will be an early warm spring. There will be little rain as well as a warm to hot dry summer.
Unfortunately this type of weather pattern is not good for lawns and therefore anyone whose livelihood depends on it such as myself.
So this year home owners don't set your cutting height based on the weather we have had over the past couple summers if you want your lawn to have a chance at being green.
Set your height to 3" inches or higher and feed with a slow release fertilizer.
Keep your fingers crossed that I'm wrong, but based on my over 17 years in this business there one thing you can count on the Weather In Cobourg Ontario is fickle and some times called by the old timers as "the banana belt" where all the precipitation goes around us leaving us high and dry.
Ahh, what a difference a week makes. Weather in Cobourg Ontario just got a little snowier. This week Cobourg received more than 15 cm (6") over the course of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It may not be as much snow as was originally called for by some weather site what been predicting but we will gladly take it.
I know that this pale in comparison to the amount of snow that many other areas in North America have been getting this year, but this winter has been much more like the Great Green North than the Great White North that many refer to us as.
I'm glad to see this snow, we need snow on the ground to provide some much needed snow melt to add to the soil in the spring to prevent a dry start to late spring beginning of the mowing season.
Weather in Cobourg Ontario update, March 2010. The snow that fell during the final week in February lasted only a few days on the ground. The temperature when the snow was falling was right at the freezing mark and due to the close proximity of Lake Ontario, the temperature was back above freezing the following day.
As I add this to my website (March 7) the temperatures have been 5 to 7 degrees Celsius above the norm. and are forecast to continue until almost mid March. There has been no precipitation since the snow and there is none forecast until at least the 12th. I hope that there is at least 1 or 2 good snows left in the winter of 2009-10. If we don't get them it looks like this will the least amount of snow seen in any winter in more than half a century.
In the last picture with the Cobourg beach you can see how much beach there is now. When I was in my childhood the water came up to where the snow fence in the foreground ends, over to approximately where the people are standing in the middle ground of this picture and then close to where it is in the far distance.
Keep in mind that I'm approaching my mid-forties and most of the lakes' shrinking has happened since I was in high school (the early 1980's). Where has all the water gone?
Here we are now in the local kids March Break (March 18th) It has been almost record setting high temperatures this week so far in and around the weather in Cobourg Ontario area. Normal temps for this week are around 5 Celsius or 40 Fahrenheit but the temps reached this week have been averaging around 10-14 Celsius or 50-58 Fahrenheit.
As a result of no snow melt and extremely warm and dry trends the chance of such things as grass fires are apt to happen a lot sooner than other normal winter years. The picture taken above is from across the road from where I live in Harwood on St. Patties' day, yesterday. The cause is unknown who knows something as small as flicking a cigarette but out the window this time of year could be a trigger.
Well the good weather in Cobourg Ontario persisted for most of this week. Temperatures were running a good 5+ degrees Celsius above normal.
Even though this yesterday morning and this morning (march 27th) started out below -5 Celsius with daytime temperatures just above zero, it looks like the writing is on the wall. This if the forecast is correct will be the end of the days with a minus in them.
After checking the outlook for next week and the Easter Long Weekend you might think we were headed right for summer.
The forecast temps for the Easter Weekend are Friday, 16 C, Saturday, 23 C, Sunday, 20 C and Monday, 18 C.
Although these temps will make a great many people happy now, if the trend continues are we in for a scorching summer? I hope not.
Well here we are in the first week of May, And finally some rain. Mind you it hasn't been large amount but we have had at least a couple of millimetres of rain a couple of times this week which is more than we can say we've since January.
Temperatures have still been on the warm side as well. The forecasters are calling for more rain this Mother's Day weekend and I hope we actually get it. The ground is still rock hard and cracked looking which makes digging up my garden a real chore.
Lets keep our fingers crossed that this wetter pattern persists well into May for all our sakes.
Well May was did not have the wet pattern that I'd hoped for. The weather in Cobourg Ontario area was lucky to have normal to slightly below normal temperatures until the last week or so of the month.
Those normal temps even with little rainfall managed to keep the lawns green.
Unfortunately once the last week or so came so did the mid July type of weather, high temperatures near 29 degrees Celsius, high humidity and no rain. This extremely quick turnaround in the weather burnt off many lawns that were being cut shorter than 3"+ high or those that were in full sun.
Ahh, thank the rain gods. The first week of June has brought Cobourg some much needed rain. We received a few nights of rain as well as a good 12 hours straight of the liquid life that is so desperately need in our part of the country on June 5 th and 6th.
This rain has helped local farmers as well as I have noticed with the recent heat and then rain that the local corn fields have taken off as well as the other locally planted field crops.
Let's hope the weekly rains continue and not the hotter and drier weather patterns that are predicted for our area this summer.
Remember to cut your lawns at least 3" or higher to try to keep your lawn green.
Wow!, what a fantastic July Canada long weekend weather wise. In Cobourg the waterfront festival celebrating its' 20th year had a record turn out. Unfortunately, immediately following the weekend we had or first major heat wave lasting the entire week with humidex readings reaching nearly 40 Celsius. There is is only a small break this weekend (July 10-11th) with out the humidity and we are back into another heat wave next week. Luckily there is rain forecast Tuesday and Friday to help keep things from burning up. I guess this is making up for the past few summers of no heat and lots of rain.
Guess what? This is looking like it will be the warmest year on record for Cobourg Weather and most of the rest of Eastern Canada. We have been on average 3.5 Degrees Celsius warmer than average. If it had not been for an above normal amount of rain due to thunderstorms, the Cobourg area would have been extremely brown as far as local lawns go.
We were lucky that our area had a cooler May which forced the roots of our lawns to go deeper than normal to find water. That coupled with a lot of rain in June most lawns as I drive around now coming up to the end of August (28th) things are still green.
I hope that most of you have been following my earlier advice regarding the height that your lawn should be cut at, which was 3" as a minimum. I actually have been cutting my customers lawns at 3-1/2" and even 3-3/4" to help keep my lawns green.
The humidity has been the real story as we had almost a solid month of high humidity which I imagine must be a record as well. Most days in July felt more 35 degrees Celsius than just the posted highs of 27-30.
The long range is looking like more of the same, hot and humid well into September. I'll report back later and let you know.
Hay, I'm back and we are now into the first week in December and we've had our first snowfall. The summer heat ended right on cue during the Labour Day long weekend. The steady heat and humidity we had all summer just disappeared and never came back.
The Cobourg area got some much needed rain (not in any great amounts though) until November. We broke into December a major rainstorm that brought 20-30 mm of rain and on the back side of this low we got our first snow fall.
Right near Lake Ontario there was little to no accumulation but as you get further away from the lake, every few hundred feet there is more snow. At the north end of town there was more than 1-2". Since then the sun has melted some of it. If you drive north of the 401 Highway there is 2" everywhere. Let it snow!!!
Happy New Year everyone! Here we are now on January 10th and we have had more rain melting any of Decembers' snow and then back to some small snowfalls. I'm still hoping we can get a few larger snowfalls, 4"-6" to add some much needed moisture to our region.
Wow where has the time gone...? We are now through another year of weather extremes in the Cobourg area.
We survived a extremely hot and dry July 2011 with the humidex almost reaching 50 Celsius. Followed by a cooler and wetter August.
Weather in Cobourg Ontario had a much milder than normal fall with temps and average of 3-5 degrees above normal, which continued throughout the winter.
Here we are at the end of the first week in March 2012 and it looks like the winter (which only really lasted 8 weeks in which we saw 8-10 snow events) is all but a no show this year. There were multiple days which set records for daytime highs..
The long range forecast is showing temps are set to skyrocket to as much 5-7 degrees Celsius above normal with no indications of returning to what most Southern Ontarians would consider to by average March conditions.
I had recently heard the Environment Canada forecast for the spring of 2012 to an average one, with temps to increase normally. I'm not in agreement, with the Weather Network showing predicted daytime highs of 10-16 C for the next 2 weeks, and the normal being 5-7 C, how is this normal?
I do hope that we are not in a pattern that is going to give us a hot early spring and dry summer. Other years that I have been through when we had such a spring have not been the best for those in the lawn care business.
I got my fingers crossed... lets hope it is a wet spring as there is no spring melt as there was not more than 6" of snow at any one time in the Cobourg area this winter.
Well here is my update to the many swings weather in Cobourg Ontario takes ... the end of 2013 was marked with much colder more Canadian Winters of old. Some snow in late November, followed by 6-7 snow falls in December.
December brought new weather words into our vocabulary, "frost quakes" which was those loud cracks that came out of nowhere due to the rapid drop in temps. Many days of extreme cold weather alerts of temps around -25c to -30c.
Our longest ever freezing rain storm which lasted 3 days and gave us a coating of 2-3 inches not cms of ice on all ground surfaces.
Now on January 22 we are again in the deep freeze which they are saying is a polar vortex. All courtesy of global warming, or more properly known as climate change. Stay tuned who knows what is in store next for weather in Cobourg Ontario ....
I check in now and it is February 24th and we are now after a brief warm up of a few days in which was high lighted by a good rain on Thursday nite to lessen the snow pack back to well below day time and nite time temperatures. The frequency of snow events has dropped off to a more normal 1 a week with doses of sunshine. At this time forecasters are saying it will below normal for temperatures well towards the end of March even April before we see normal day time and over nite temperature trends...
Good Day here on March 26th and It was still minus 15 Celsius overnite with a daytime high expected to be minus 5. Doesn't sound alot like spring temperatures does it? The predictions from the end of February we pretty much bang on. The snow storms have all but ended after mid March. We had a good rain event which melted some of the snow but there is still a fair amount to go before Spring clean up can begin in Cobourg. In Harwood where I reside there is still 30 cm plus of snow everywhere.
Forecasters are saying by the end of the week daytime temps will be above 0 Celcius, which will help get spring under way here in Northumberland County and put this winter for the record books behind us. Let's hope they are correct.
After a very cool month of April averaging 3-5 degrees below normal weather is now almost up to average daily temps here on the 7th of May. There has been some heavy rains to slowly help get the grass greening up and flooding way above average on Rice lake north of Cobourg due to high snow amounts this past winter.
As far as beginning lawn mowing we are almost 2 weeks behind due to the very cool spring. Let's hope mother nature sees fit to continue with the average temps as we move forward further into late spring.
Check back often as I will report back with new observations or events involving Weather In Cobourg Ontario as they occur.
There is also a great Canadian Weather Blog over at Accuweather.com. It is moderated by Brett Anderson who has over 20 years as a senior meteorologist. Bookmark it if your are one of my many Canadian visitors and check back frequently.