It’s been quite the summer.
A lack of rain in most parts of the Prairies was definitely not conducive for growing crops and pastures.
As one of our editors said last month, “without water, nothing grows.”
But the environmental catastrophe facing producers this summer has had two heads.
The drought was definitely a major problem, but the extreme heat created a double whammy.
And man, was it hot.
We don’t have air conditioning in our 109-year-old Saskatoon home, but it’s never really been a problem for much of the 27 years we’ve lived here.
Sure, it gets hot from time to time during the summer, but it never lasts long and it usually cools off at night.
We have a ceiling fan in our bedroom, and we’ve actually gone years without turning it on.
But then there was 2021.
The number of days where the temperature soared above 30 C was relentless, and the number of nights where the mercury stayed in the high teens was disconcerting to say the least.
Not only did the ceiling fan get a workout, but we also bought two more tower fans, trying to position them strategically throughout the second floor to encourage as much cool, outside air as possible to enter our abode.
Our efforts in that regard became almost as complicated as completing a Sudoku puzzle as we arranged and rearranged the fans in a desperate attempt to coax the nighttime temperature in our house below 27 C.
I’ve heard folks cast doubt on whether it really has been hotter than normal this year, arguing that it’s always hot in the summer and always will be.
I decided to do a little research on Environment Canada’s website, counting the number of days that it was hotter than 30 C in Saskatoon from June 18 to Aug. 18 since 2009.
The results were generally what might be expected: three days in 2009, none in 2010, two in 2011, two in 2012, three in 2013, none in 2014, 12 in 2015, none in 2016, seven in 2017, 10 in 2018, four in 2019 and eight last year.
But this year was decidedly different with the temperature hitting 30 C or higher an eye-popping 25 times during that time period.
If this keeps up, we may be getting an air conditioner yet.
For more content related to drought management visit The Dry Times, where you can find a collection of stories from our family of publications as well as links to external resources to support your decisions through these difficult times.