Cool summer predicted

Ray Garnett, author of the Ray Garnett Climate and Crop Letter, informs us that he expects it to be a cool spring and summer this year. Mean temperatures, he says will average between 13.8 C and 15.5 C. Normal mean temperature in July is 19.7 C.

He says it will also be a dry spring; Manitoba received low precipitation pre-spring (March) at just 65 to 86 per cent of normal.

The sunspot cycle is 11 years. Typically, when sunspot activity is high, we see a corresponding increase in temperatures and lower temperatures in low sunspot years. Ray reports that there has been extra low sunspot activity at just 1.7 sunspots per month since last September and this is expected to continue through August of this year. The last time we saw this kind of low sunspot activity was 2009, the year of H1N1 and the global recession. Normal activity runs between 16 and 19 sunspots a month.

Climatologists have been monitoring sunspot activity for many years. In the 18th century, reduced sunspot activity corresponded with a drop in temperatures so severe it is now known as the Little Ice Age. It was so cold, the River Thames in London Froze over.