If you listen to its city councillors, Edmonton is facing a Climate Emergency. We prefer looking at the climate data, which is easily done courtesy of weatherstats.ca. Edmonton temperatures do show a pattern of change. The average nighttime minimum temperature has moved up since the 1880s, from the mid-minus 40s C to about minus 30 C. A change that large is probably due mainly to urbanization since the daily maximum has hardly changed, hitting a record of 37.1 C back in 1937, while the daily average reached a maximum in the 1980s and flattened out thereafter. Like many other cities we’ve examined, Edmonton is gradually getting less windy, and precipitation is about the same as it’s been since records began. If only every emergency looked like this one.
Here is the chart of temperatures:
and here are the precipitation numbers:
If today’s weather is an emergency, then Edmonton has been in a state of emergency for over a century. Which is another way of saying Edmonton is not in a state of emergency. Indeed winds are gradually getting milder:
as are maximum gusts:
Heatwaves, measured as the number of days above 30C per year, peaked in 1961:
Cold spells, measured as the number of days below -20 C, have declined steadily to a minimum in 1987 before creeping up a bit since:
So if you lived in Edmonton over the past 140 years you would have found the coldest weather now a bit less cold, the average highs about the same, the precipitation about the same and the winds a bit milder on average. If that pattern strikes you as an emergency, you are probably not cut out for life on the prairies.