Solar flare captured by NASA
Has it been too hot for you lately?
Well, to refresh your memory, we have been blessed with warmth from last winter.
"Winter? What winter?" I can hear some of you saying.
You're right, it was a pleasant winter for the ordinary Canadian in general. But for us forecasters, it was a tough one!
Predicting the weather in such warm winter conditions for a higher latitude location is definitely, and with no doubt, a pain in the neck.
Was last Friday, July 6th, 2012, warm for you? Yes, it was a record breaker! An “Il forno,” as some might say.
Why is it so hot, you might ask?
Our beloved sun is about 150 million kilometres away from us. Believe it or not, what happens out there affect us directly or indirectly.
As you know, storms occur on the sun. They are somehow similar to the storms we are having here on earth, but with a bit more heat! When these storms erupt on the sun’s surface, their flares, which consist of huge quantities of matter and electromagnetic radiation, scatter everywhere in space.
What happens on the sun affects us on earth
Recently, many solar flares have been taking place on the sun, but their largest one was on July 6, 2012. As you can see from the NASA picture in this article, the sun is close to its peak for the current cycle.
The effect of solar flares on earth usually can be seen as the northern lights (Auroras) or when very active can interrupt satellite and GPS communication systems. While not the only factor, solar flares are thought to affect our weather here on earth.
Many very active solar flares were connected to unusual warm or cold periods on earth including the little ice age that took place during the 1600 AD.
That's not to say that solar flares are the official cause of the recent blasts of heat here in Canada. It is, however, something to think about when you glance up at the sun.
So, what should you do?
Sit down and enjoy the heat with a cold sweaty glass of ice tea in your hand while lathered in suntan lotion cause you never know, snow might just be around the corner!
Diar Hassan is a meteorologist at The Weather Network.