Abbotsford residents have been bemoaning the slow arrival of summer, but according to Environment Canada statistics, the weather hasn’t been all that bad.
“There’s perception that it’s been colder and wetter than normal, but it actually has been, in fact, quite normal in terms of the statistics,” Environment Canada meteorologist David Jones said on Thursday. “Everyone’s experience, however, is that summer hasn’t arrived yet.”
Jones pointed out the 30-year average mean temperature for July in Abbotsford is 17.5 Celsius. This July, to date, the mean is 17.3 C – well within the standard deviation. The average daytime high, at 22.2 C, is also only fractionally cooler than the 30-year average of 23.4 C.
In terms of precipitation, Abbotsford has had 64 millimetres of rain in July – more than the average of 50 mm, but not even within shouting distance of the record of 149 mm, set in 1983.
The difference between the statistics and personal experience, according to Jones, lies with the fact Abbotsford has yet to see a significant stretch of sunny, hot weather.
“We haven’t hit 30 degrees at the Abbotsford Airport yet,” Jones pointed out. “Historically, you can reach 30 degrees as early as May 1.”
1954 and 1964 were the last years where the Abbotsford Airport didn’t record at least one day where the temperature was at or above 30 C.
“We’ve got all of August and September to hit 30, and I’m sure we’ll get there,” Jones said. “But right now, we haven’t, and I think that’s the main thing. There hasn’t been a stretch of sunny, hot weather of any duration.”
The lack of hot weather has had a delaying effect on agriculture, and food banks and soup kitchens in the region have been affected to varying degrees as fresh produce donations from farmers are coming in slower than usual.
Abbotsford Food Bank coordinator Dave Murray said his organization is beginning to notice the impact, though it hasn’t been drastic to this point.
“We aren’t receiving any corn yet, or some other particular items,” Murray noted. “But we’ll see at the end of August what things look like as we head towards Thanksgiving.
“The farmers tend to be generous in terms of finances as well, and if it’s a slow year, there will be a spin-off towards Christmas. It does have a long-term impact on us.”