Currently in Toronto — May 20th, 2022

Hot and humid start to the long weekend!

The weather, currently.

Hot and humid conditions as we push into the long weekend! A warm front will approach the lower great lakes on Friday, bringing in a surge of warm and very humid air. Expect some sunny breaks early morning with a wake-up temperature near 12°C, then some isolated showers for mid-morning. It will be drier for the afternoon with some breaks in the cloud and a high of 28°C. The UV index will be 7 or high. You will also notice that warm wind from the SW at 30-50km/h.

Friday Night: Cloudy periods with scattered showers by dawn and a low of 18°C.

SIDE NOTE: For those heading up to cottage country, especially campers be advised there is a risk of possibly severe thunderstorms late-day Friday. A cold front will slide south and help trigger storms in the Grey Bruce, Barrie, and Parry Sound areas. Please remember lightning can kill. If you hear thunder, retreat to a shelter or your car before resuming outdoor activity.

Stay safe and have a great long weekend!

Anwar Knight

What you need to know, currently.

As a heatwave sweeps across the nation, Denver is set to see some significant snowfall this weekend, with temperatures dropping from the 90s to the low 30s. Snow in late-May is unusual, but not alarming — nothing compared to 1816, which is known as the Year Without a Summer.

In April of 1815, Mount Tambora — a volcano in present-day Indonesia, that had been dormant for 200 years — erupted, sending a plume of ash the size of Australia into the sky and causing a volcanic winter. The ground froze in July and August, snow fell in June, crops and livestock died off — causing widespread famine. According to the New England Historical Society, farmers, who had already shorn their sheep for the summer, tried to tie their wool back onto them, to no avail.

Allegedly, the founder of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Robert Thomas, had mistakenly printed copies predicting a cold, snowy July that year. Upon discovering his mistake, he had the copies destroyed — only to be vindicated by the volcanic winter.

The basic principles behind volcanic winters are what have inspired researchers to look into certain kinds of geoengineering—namely shooting aerosols into the atmosphere, that would block the sun and effectively mimic the effects of a volcanic eruption.

The risks to geoengineering are manifold, however. Although it may succeed in cooling the climate temporarily, geoengineering is not an argument against reducing emissions and could very well end up worsening the situation.

Alan Robock, a climatologist at Rutgers University outlined some of the risks in a 2016 paper, including ocean acidification, widespread drought and famine, and rapid warming if stopped (once you stop shooting aerosols into the atmosphere, the planet warms faster than if you’d done nothing at all.)

“So far geoengineering research concludes that there is no safe Plan B,” Robock writes. “And provides enhanced support for mitigation and adaptation.”

—Rebecca McCarthy