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Ontario “moisture starved” – Environment Canada


May 3, 2010
By The Canadian Press

Topics

May
3, 2010, Toronto, Ont – A month of little rainfall and unusually warm
temperatures has created an “invisible drought” in Ontario, says one weather
expert, who is wondering where the showers went.

May
3, 2010, Toronto, Ont – A month of little rainfall and unusually warm
temperatures has created an “invisible drough”' in Ontario, says one weather
expert, who is wondering where the showers went.

“We
finished April and whatever happened to April showers?” said David Phillips, a
senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

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Phillips
said measurements taken at Toronto’s Pearson airport show 36 millimetres of
rain for the month _ a time when the area would normally see 68 millimetres.

It’s
the second driest April in Ontario in more than a century. The last time the
province was so parched was 1881.

Most
of the rain poured down in the beginning of the month, with less than four
millimetres of rain in the area in the past three weeks.

Phillips
said downtown Toronto was also unusually dry.

“There’s
almost an invisible drought going on across the province,” said Phillips.

He
said people delighted by warm weather and puddle-free streets are unaware of
the dry conditions.

“When
you have that double whammy – warmer than normal and less precipitation than
normal – the atmosphere is just sucking up every drop of rain,” he said,
describing the high rates of evaporation.

Windsor,
Hamilton, Kitchener and many towns across southern Ontario are experiencing
more summer-like conditions.

Not
only are gardeners and farmers feeling the impact, but Phillips said allergy
sufferers are too.

“We’ve
had so little rain, particularly in the past three weeks, It’s just been
moisture-starved and that will just exacerbate the allergy season.”

Water
levels are also a concern for farmers, who are worried they will not have rain
to replenish the levels.

Phillips
noted across the province, fire bans have been issued because of these
conditions.

“It’s
almost as if nature has forgotten how to precipitate,” said Phillips, who noted
it has also been the warmest April on record.

“It’s
weird, wild and wacky weather,” said Phillips. “What ever happened to normal
weather?”