Climate Trends and Variations Bulletin - Summer 2020

Summer 2020 bulletin (PDF, 1.2 MB)

This bulletin summarizes recent climate data and presents it in a historical context. It first examines the national average temperature for the season and then highlights interesting regional temperature information.

Over the past decade, precipitation monitoring technology has evolved and Environment and Climate Change Canada and its partners implemented a transition from manual observations to using automatic precipitation gauges. Extensive data integration is required to link the current precipitation observations to the long term historical manual observations.  The update and reporting of historical adjusted precipitation trends and variations will be on temporary hiatus pending the extensive data reconciliation, and will resume thereafter. ECCC remains committed to providing credible climate data to inform adaptation decision making, while ensuring the necessary data reconciliation occurs as monitoring technology evolves.

Temperature departures and rankings data table (CSV, 9 kB) 
Temperature trends and extremes data table (CSV, 2 kB)

National temperature

The national average temperature for the summer (June–August) of 2020 was 1.1°C above the baseline average (defined as the mean over the 1961–1990 reference period), based on preliminary data, which is the 6th warmest observed since nationwide recording began in 1948. The warmest summer occurred in 2012, when the national average temperature was 1.8°C above the baseline average. The coldest summer occurred in 1978, when the national average temperature was 1.0°C below the baseline average. The temperature departures map (below) shows that all of eastern Canada and parts of central Canada experienced summer temperatures above the baseline average. Most notably, northeastern Nunavut and northwestern Quebec experienced temperatures more than 2.5°C above the baseline average. Only one area of the country, in central British Columbia, experienced summer temperatures about 0.5°C below the baseline average. The rest of the country experienced temperatures close to the baseline average.

Temperature departures from the 1961 to 1990 average - Summer 2020

The temperature departures map.
Long description 

The temperature departures map shows that all of eastern Canada and parts of central Canada experienced summer temperatures above the baseline average. Most notably, northeastern Nunavut and northwestern Quebec experienced temperatures more than 2.5°C above the baseline average. Only one area of the country, in central British Columbia, experienced summer temperatures about 0.5°C below the baseline average. The rest of the country experienced temperatures close to the baseline average.

The time series graph (below) shows that averaged summer temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year over the 1948–2020 period. With the exception of 2004, averaged summer temperatures have remained above the baseline average since 1993. The linear trend indicates that summer temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.5°C over the past 73 years.

Summer national temperature departures and long-term trend, 1948-2020  

The time series graph shows that averaged summer temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year.
Long description 

The time series graph shows that averaged summer temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year over the 1948–2020 period. With the exception of 2004, averaged summer temperatures have remained above the baseline average since 1993. The linear trend indicates that summer temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.5°C over the past 73 years.

Regional temperature

When examined on a regional basis, average summer temperatures for 2020 were among the 3rd warmest for the Arctic Mountains and Fiords (at 2.3°C above average); the 4th warmest for the Northeastern Forest (at 1.5°C above average); the 5th warmest for the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence (at 1.5°C above average); the 6th warmest for the Arctic Tundra (at 1.8°C above average); and the 7th warmest for Atlantic Canada (at 1.2°C above average). None of the eleven climate regions experienced an average summer temperature for 2020 that ranked among the 10 coolest since 1948. All eleven climate regions exhibit positive trends for summer temperatures over the 73 years of record. The strongest trend is observed in both the Mackenzie District and the Arctic Tundra regions (+1.7°C), while the weakest trend (+0.9°C) is found in the Prairies region. A table listing the Summer regional and national temperature departures and rankings from 1948 to 2020 (CSV, 9kB) and summarizes the Summer regional and national trends and extremes (CSV, 2kB) are available through the above links or by request to ec.btvc-ctvb.ec@canada.ca.

A map that shows the Canadian climate regions.
Long description

A map that shows the Canadian Climate Regions: Atlantic Canada, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands, Northeastern Forest, Northwestern Forest, Prairies, South British Columbia Mountains, Pacific Coast, North British Columbia Mountains/Yukon, Mackenzie District, Arctic Tundra, Arctic Mountains and Fiords.

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