Toronto sets record for summer thunderstorms

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Pandemic be damned, Toronto had the most bangin’ summer ever this year.

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Weather-wise that is.

According to Toronto Weather Records on Twitter (RolfsWeather.ca) via BlogTO, the city — Pearson airport, actually — experienced more thunderstorms than any other summer in recorded history.

A total of 21 days experienced thunder and lightning, topping the previous high of 19 days set in 1986.

The median number of thunderstorm days — thunder and lightning with rainfall — between 1991 and 2020 was 11. The record low was in 1972, when Toronto had just four thunderstorm days.

Downtown Toronto experienced 20 days of thunderstorms in the summer, as measured at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, another record. The previous high was 19 days, set in 2019 and 2017, with the median between 1991-2020 at 10 days.

The record-setting summer included a number of severe thunderstorm warnings issued by Environment Canada.

The wild weather accounted for a total summer rainfall of 324.4 mm at Pearson, above the normal range of 123.9-314.6 mm, according to Toronto Weather Records.

There were some weather positives, particularly in September.

Toronto experienced 21 consecutive days — Sept, 1-21 — with a maximum temperature above 21C, one day short of the record set in 2002. Sept. 1-21 in 1921 and 1881 are the third-highest totals.

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