Will Hamilton set a record for consecutive 20C days?


Published August 29, 2022 at 3:41 pm

Summer 2022 in Hamilton is close to joining a century club, but perhaps only those with central A/C could cherish the feat.

Only twice in the history of the city have there been 100 days in a row where the high temperature reached at least 20C. Both have occurred in the past 11 years. Today (Aug. 29) is the 96th consecutive day that the temperature was at least 20 — and then some, since at 3 p.m., it was 28C with a 37 humidex out at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. The dewpoint, which tells the amount of moisture — or “stickiness” in the air, was also 21.0C. It is even warmer in the city’s well-documented heat islands. A forecast of rain on Monday night and early Tuesday is expected to bring a modicum of relief from the humidity.

Weather historian Rolf Campbell says the streak, which began May 26, is the sixth-longest in the history of Hamilton.

The joint third-longest streaks are 98 days. So the 2022 run could be the longest by Thursday, and could reach an even 100 days by Friday, which would be a tie for second place. The forecast highs for Sept. 1 and 2 are 22C and 25C, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The runner-up is a 100-day streak in 2012. It lasted from June 6 to Sept. 13.

The record was set six years ago. In 2016, the daytime highs reached 20C for 106 days in a row, from June 10 until Sept. 23.

It would take another 11 days with highs above 20 — Friday, Sept. 9 — to claim the record. The Weather Network is projecting Hamilton’s high temps to be in the mid-20s throughout that week.

Prolonged stretches of sustained heat and humidity are one effect of climate catastrophe, and affect human health, particularly for people with chronic conditions, such as arthritis or respiratory conditions.

The City of Hamilton declared a climate emergency in March 2019, and adapted a climate adaptation strategy earlier this month.

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