The stats are in for Swift Current’s 2022 weather trends and anomalies.
Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said it was another dry year in the books for the city.
“Total precipitation for the year was 274.3 millimeters, and that includes rain and snow melted down,” she said. “Only 77% of [the 30-year average. In fact, it came out to be the 14th driest year on record, and that's with 136 years of records. So, sort of continuing that dry trend, unfortunately.”
The average temperature was 3.8 degrees Celsius, slightly below the three-year average of 4.3 degrees Celsius.
While the summer was a sweltering one, last year’s hottest day landed in the fall, with a temperature of 36.5 degrees Celsius on September 3—also setting the record of warmest temperature in September for any year.
The coldest recorded day was January 6 at minus 35.4 degrees Celsius.
“That's a difference of almost 72 degrees between the coldest and the warmest temperature,” Lang said. “Very typical for the climate of Saskatchewan. We get the influence of really warm temperatures from the south and really cold temperatures from the north and no presence of any kind of oceans or lakes that help modify temperatures. So that's why we get such huge temperature swings.”
What isn’t so typical, and could be a sign of climate change influence, is the seasons that those temperatures are present.
"The spring seems to be on the cooler side and on the wetter side, and then we're getting into hotter and drier, but instead of August, it seems to be pushing more into September,” Lang said. “What we see with climate change with respect to temperatures, is we tend to get more high minimum temperatures, meaning it's warmer in the overnight periods. We're not seeing the extreme cold that we tend to see either, with the record-breaking cold that we've seen in previous years. I went through the year and couldn't find any cold temperature records [for Swift Current], so that both sort of speaks to the changes that could be happening.
"It's been a few years of really dry conditions and. Even though we did get some snows last winter and we did get sort of a wet spring, it's surely nice to see more precipitation during the winter sort of money in the bank. Hopefully for the ranchers and farmers as we as we head into the spring. But we'll see what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.”