It’s time for more weather nerding!
I was feeling nostalgic for summer, so I summoned my weather database and asked it how many days have been over 35C this century. (I’m not especially nostalgic about 35C weather – that’s too damn hot – but I just wanted to remind myself that weather did that.) I was surprised to discover that we haven’t had temperatures that high all that often. Here’s the list:
Not surprisingly, these tend to bunch: there were four really hot days in August, 2001, three hot days in July, 2002, and three in July, 2011. The last of the 2011 days, July 21, is the hottest day in Toronto this millennium. (I remember it, actually: I wasn’t working at the time, but decided it was too hot to hang out by my building’s pool, since the humidex was something like 50. Instead, I went to the air-conditioned Metro Reference Library, read books, and looked out the window at the hot, angry clouds.)
July 2012 had the most widely scattered hot days – the three shown here, plus July 23, which just missed this list, as the high was exactly 35C. That month, there were only two days where the high temperature was below 27C. It was a good month to be near a body of water or a functional air conditioner, or perhaps both.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a day this hot – 2016 has been an El Nino year, so we’ll see how that affects our summer. The last El Nino winter was 2009-2010, and 2010 was a hot summer, so that might be what we will get.