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Calgary enjoys warmest summer since 2003, says Environment Canada

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CALGARY — It’s not just in your head, Calgary. We really are getting some terrific weather. With just over a week left in August, forecasters are tentatively declaring this one of the warmest summers the city has seen in a decade. “We’re on track for being very close to the warmest summer we’ve had in the last 10 years,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurtry.

After June got off to a wet start — nearly doubling seasonal norms for precipitation with 146.8 millimetres of rainfall — southern Alberta brought the sunshine in July and August. Temperatures have averaged up to two degrees above normal in the past two months, McMurtry said. With average highs nudging more than 25 Celsius, August is already more than 2.5 degrees above the seasonal norm.

Even so, McMurtry said, 2003 is still officially the warmest summer in the past decade. “We’re going to tie, or get very close to tying, the warmest summer we’ve had in the last 10 years.” The fine weather has also helped some of the city’s more weather-sensitive businesses.

Warm temperatures came just in time for Phil Laprairie. The air conditioning and heating specialist said his industry was hard hit hard with the demise of the federal home retrofit rebate program last winter. Rainy weather in early June had Laprairie worried that summer sales would also suffer. Then, early in July, the clouds cleared and the sun came out with a vengeance. “All of a sudden it broke loose and it hasn’t backed off. People are buying air conditioners,” said Laprairie, who works with Arpi’s Industries. “No pun intended, it’s been a very hot summer for us.”

On sunny days, a steady stream of vehicles jam downtown Cochrane as dessert-lusting Calgarians seek out one of southern Alberta’s best known ice cream parlours. The fine weather has been good for business at Mackays Ice Cream, where 4,500 cones can be scooped on a busy day. “We’ve had some pretty crazy days this summer. The line can be all the way down the block,” said Belinda Gillett of Mackays. “We get lots of people from Calgary. Local people don’t drive downtown in Cochrane anywhere close to Mackays on a weekend because of the traffic.”

Northeast of Calgary, the Bearspaw Country Club is enjoying a stellar season. Traffic on the greens is up 20 per cent, said Wib Lamb, a spokesperson for the course. “The weather has certainly been outstanding and doesn’t show any signs of letting up.”

mpotkins@calgaryherald.com © Copyright (c)

Source: The Calgary Herald

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