Environment Canada has released its Top 10 Weather Stories for 2021, a year that Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada, calls the “most deadly and most expensive year for weather in Canadian History.”
Phillips created the list for the 26th time in his 26-year history. He said, “No year is comparable to this year.”
He said, “The events are larger and more important than they were 20 years ago.”
Phillips stated that while scientists have been raising alarm about climate change for decades, it has always appeared gradual, subtle, and distant. “I think this year is the year when Canadians see it firsthand.
He said that the trend over the past 26 year shows this is a preview for what we should expect and how to adapt to it.”I believe that this should be considered a dry run, a rehearsal of what we will see in the future.”
British Columbiabore the brunt of the weather events,experiencingboth the Top 2and half of the overall events.
“The province was baked, dried out, scorched, flooded and inundated with mud, rock and debris flows,” said astatementaccompanying the Top 10 list.
Phillips said, “It was an endless parade in misery, hardship, and misfortune for these people.”
However, there were notable events in other provinces as well, including powerful tornadoes and a record breaking wildfire season. Here’s a look back, with the nicknames Phillipshas gave each one.
1. Record heat under the dome
On June 28, 2021, Lytton, B.C.,The Canadian record for highest temperature was broken45 C was reached for the third week in a row, reaching 49.6 C. 90 percent of the village was also affected by this week’s temperature. Wildfires – burned to the groundTwo people were killed.
Lytton, B.C.,evacuated as wildfire moves in after heat wave:| Lytton, B.C.,evacuated as wildfire moves in after heat wave:
This was one of the extreme effects of the “heat dome”, which cooked B.C. for 11 days in June. However, the event also broke more that 1,000 daily temperature records across the Northwest. Many people were killed.
Phillips released a statement saying that British Columbia experienced the deadliest week in Canadian history because of the extreme early summer heat and drought.
Over the course of the summer, 595 people died from heat-related causes in B.C. alone., with 231 of those deaths occurring on June 29.
Phillips said that Phillips was aware of this, even in the context climate change. He expects weather events that are more costly and more significant to be more dangerous, but not necessarily more deadly. “This was a great year from that point of perspective.”
In mid-November, a “atmospheric River” dumped more that 200 millimetres rain on British Columbia in less than 48 hours. puttingentire communitiesMore than 17,000 people were forced to leave their homes due to the flooding. Rain caused Five people were killed in mudslides More than 1000 others were left behindAs they cut off and blocked every major highway that connected B.C.’s Lower Mainland to other parts of the province.
Phillips said that it was likely to be the most costly disaster in Canadian history due to the cost of rebuilding infrastructure, lost opportunities, and insurance losses. However, he believes that this could take many years.
3. Canada drys from coast to coast
Environment Canada says the southern regions of B.C. are covered by Environment Canada To the Northwestern Ontario and eastern PrairiesOne of the driest Summers in 75 Years, many places receiving less than half the usual rainfall during the past growing seasons.
It stated that “What made this drought exceptional was that the dryness had been so widespread, severe, and long-lasting.”
WATCH | Prairie farmers could be dealing with the worst drought in history:
Statistics Canada reported that Canada’s wheat and canola production was at an all-time high. As a result, it fell more than 35%. Many ranchers claimed that they were able to do this by September. Looking at culling their herdsDue to a sharp rise in feed costs.
It also drove food costs higher for consumers.
4. Wildfire season is active and unrelenting, early in the year
This summer was Ontario’s worst wildfire season everThe fire included the largest ever in the province, and it raged for almost five months.
Environment Canada stated that the Canadian season began a month earlier than usual due to a record dry spring and early melt alpine snow. Overall, there was a total of 2,500 more fires in 2021 that in 2020, which burned 60% more land than the 10-year-average.
Phillips pointed out that B.C.Phillips noted that B.C. Itsfall floods were set by its founding fathers.
“Because it was charred the ground could not contain the rains that arrived,” he stated, adding that there were many cases where “climate enhanced extremities that we saw in early spring and summer created an environment for other climate change impacts that will occur in a later period.”
Even communities that weren’t directly affected by wildfires were affected, such as Calgary which was subject to 512 hours of smoke, haze, and wind despite an average fire season in Alberta.
Phillips said, “I think that’s what we’re going to see more of,” It’s not something that happens in your backyard. This will have a ripple effect on the world.
5. Canada endures 4 heat waves
There were four heat waves in the country between mid-August and May, apart from the B.C. June heat dome. Environment Canada reported. B.C. and Saskatchewan had their warmest summers in at most 60 years.
6. Year of the EF-2 tornado
Tornadoes with winds speeds between 180 km/hand and 220 km/h strong sufficient to rip off roofs and uproot 50 percent of the trees in their path receive a ratingoftwoon the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Phillips stated that Environment Canada has not yet completed counting the EF-2s, but that “the number was high, particularly in east”, this year.
On June 21, a tornadoOne person was killed in Mascouche (Que.Seven tornadoes ripped through Ontario, including one that was particularly strong, on July 15, for the first time since 27 years. One in Barrie, just north Toronto, was a destructive one that caused damage to 25 buildings and left 11 people injured..
WATCH | Tornado expert tours Barrie aftermath:
In November, Vancouver saw its First tornado in 40 Years.
The Prairies, normally a “hotbed”, of tornadoes, did not experience any for two months, because of the drought. Phillips stated that it was too hot and too dry.
7. Canada is frozen by the Arctic blast in February
Extreme heat was the topic of much of the attention, but there was also a notable extreme freeze during the second week.
It More than 225 new daily records were brokenFor low minimum temperatures, including 51.9 C, Wekweeti Nunavut, which is the coldest temperature Canada has seen in four years.
WATCH | Canada is subject to the polar vortex, which brings cold temperatures to large parts of Canada:
8. Calgary is another hailer-flooder
Calgary hailstormFor the second consecutive year, the Top 10 was made. Although this year’s event was not as severe as the one that caused $1.2 billion in damage in 2020 in some areas, flash flooding caused by 50 millimetres in rain in many areas, and hailstones the size of golf balls impacted many cars and houses, cracking windshields, and generating nearly 16,000 insurance claims, Environment Canada reports.
WATCH | Flash flooding fills southwestCalgary roads:
9. Hurricane Larry belonged to Newfoundland
Hurricane Larry, a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 155 km/h, entered Canadian waters on September 10. A day later, it made landfall west of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula as a Category 2 hurricane. The roof of a school was torn off and the power turned on for 60,000 customers.
It brought high tides with it the storm surge it caused Damaged roads, parks, and coastal communities. Environment Canada reports that the insurance industry estimates property losses of more then $25 million.
WATCH: Hurricane Larry knocks out power in Newfoundland| Hurricane Larry knocks out power supply in Newfoundland:
10. January Prairie Clipper
The Top 10 is completed by the first notable weather event in 2021:Intense winds whipped across the western PrairiesIn the second week in January.
At Moose Jaw Airport, Saskatchewan, winds were recorded blowing at 161 km/h. Also breaking 13 January records were winds of 137 km/h from Barnwell, Alta. and 143 km/h from Bratt’s Lake (Sask.).
Environment Canada stated that “during the storm, so many anemometers were blown away that undoubtedly many more records than were reported were set,”