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Scorching temperatures and sun usher in September

This summer has been a gift that just keeps on giving.

With September just a couple of days away, the forecast for the next week calls for nothing but sunshine and high temperatures of 30 degrees – well above seasonal norms.

It comes after a summer that’s already been hotter and drier than any in recent memory.

“This summer has been spectacularly unusual,” said Meterologist Richard Zurawski. “Precipitation amounts have either been light or on the light side of normal and temperatures have been way above normal, well off the scale.”

Environment Canada reports a scant 52mm of rain has fallen in Halifax so far this month, well below the 180mm reported in August 2009. Zurawski says that temperatures are running an average of three degrees above normal for most of eastern Canada this year, making 2010 potentially the country’s hottest year on record.

If the temperature reaches 30 degrees today, as expected, it will be a new record high for this date. The forecast calls for more of the same over the next seven days, which Zurawski says is not normal for this time of year.

“We do get warm summers for August and early September, but not this record-setting heat coming in from the southwest,” he said.  

Zurawski says the weather we’re expecting this week won’t just be hot, but humid – which will make some days feel more like 40 degrees. He says that means that although summer is nearly over, everyone needs to keep taking summertime precautions.

“Sunstroke is an issue, even sitting out at the beach where you think it’s a bit cooler, you can overheat,” he said. “Watch your kids and pets in the car…and if you have to cut the grass or do some exercise, do that sometime in the morning or later in the evening when things are not quite as hot.”

Zurawski says we can thank – or blame – El Nino and tropical storms in the Caribbean for this summer’s scorching weather.