Banff Temperatures

My daily routine in the morning is to get the daily satellite information, check out interesting pressure distributions and ocean temperatures.  Suzanne jokes that after my first coffee I know what the weather is everywhere but outside our own house!  So after a cool spring, I decided to learn a little more about Banff’s weather history.

To do this I used Environment Canada data.  It isn’t easy to manipulate with their site so I took sunshinehours (a fellow bloggers) advice and transferred the EC data to an Excel spreadsheet which then allows more flexibility.

The first graph then is Banff monthly temperature anomalies for the last 30 years.Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 3.27.05 PM

Each data point is mean monthly temperature.  Quite a few things jumped out at me.

1) There appears to be rough cyclical variations

2) The large scale La Niña and El Niño events are less pronounced

3) Most variation is constrained within +/- 2 degrees

4) There was more extreme variation in the 80s compared to the  2000’s

5) Total absence of warming trend

6) Away from land use changes and urban heating effects Banff’s isolated station shows none of the warming found in many urban stations.


As far as this April goes, it was cold relative to the last 30 years but not going to break any records.  Here is the last 30 years of mean April temperatures for Banff.Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 12.11.42 PM

I put a trend line up for entertainment purposes only.  Climate systems do not operate in a linear fashion so trends have no physical meaning in the real world.  But we do see that spring has been getting colder in Banff over the last 30 years.

For curiosity, I plotted January means and August means as well to see if winter and summer means are changing at all.  (note Jan’85 missing data point)  Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 6.31.28 PM Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 6.39.25 PM



So unfortunately, we are just wimps with short memories!  April wasn’t even as cold as it was just 2 years ago!  Perhaps the difference this year was being more anxious to mountain bike than I was in 2011.

May has been wonderful with warm temperatures.  We caught the last day of the year at the Lake Louise resort.  Skiing in a T-shirt is pretty fun when it’s +15 degrees! Last day at the resort has a party atmosphere with lots of outlandish costumes.  I made a token effort  and had a multi-coloured feather boa around my neck.

Screen shot 2013-05-06 at 6.57.19 PM

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1 Response to Banff Temperatures

  1. Kevin says:

    Impressive and always good to leave room for growth. Next year might I suggest a floral print dress and a Carman Miranda fruit hat!

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