Everything You Wanted To Know About Rose Fest Parade Weather

Compiled by Rob Paola, Environment Canada Meteorologist

The highlight of any Rose Festival is the annual grand parade that winds through the streets of Welland, an early summer tradition that celebrated its 50th anniversary on June 19th 2011.

Since the inaugural parade in 1962, parade organizers, participants and onlookers have experienced all sorts of weather on route, from cold damp conditions to searing heat. Generally though, the Rose Festival parade has been blessed with fine summerlike weather.. with afternoon highs averaging a comfortable 24C.

Since 1962, only 6 parades have had rain during the 2 hour event, and three of those were just sprinkles.  The vast majority have been rain free although some parade days have had rain before or after the parade.  And even though summer often brings thunderstorms to Southern Ontario, only one Rose festival parade has been interrupted due to a thunderstorm.  That was back on July 3rd, 1965 when a 30-minute deluge at the start of the parade dropped 22 mm of rain on the proceedings and threatened to postpone the event. The parade went on however, minus a few bands that could not play due to wet instruments.

A look at the weather history of the parade since 1962 reveals other interesting weather facts..

  • The first parade, June 23 1962, was held     under ideal conditions.. sunshine and warm temperatures with a high of 26.7C    (80F)
  • The hottest parade..     July 2 1966 with a sweltering high of 34C (93F), and a humidex near 40.  St John’s ambulance     treated several people that day for heat exhaustion
  • The coldest parade..     June 21 1992 with a high of only 11C under overcast skies, it felt more like    April than late June.  Appropriately, this weekend marked the start of one    of the coolest and wettest summers on record in Southern Ontario.. the     infamous “year without a summer” caused by the lingering effects of the Mt     Pinatubo volcanic eruption the year before
  • Average daily high over the past 54     parades has been 24C (75F), with an average low of 14C
  • The majority of parades have been held     with temperatures of 25-29C (26 of 54 parades). 8 were cooler than 20C while    5 have been held with temperatures of 30C or higher (4 of those since 2005)
  • The parades of the 1970s were generally    the coolest, with an average high of only 21C. Only one parade that decade     was held in temperatures above 25C (1976).
  • The parades of the 1980s were generally     the sunniest and warmest with an average high of almost 26C and 6 of 10 held     in bright sunshine
  • Most recently, the parades of the past 5    years have featured ideal summerlike conditions with warm temperatures of    25C or more and no rain.

The following table shows weather conditions for every Rose Festival parade since 1962.

YEAR DATE HIGH (C) LOW(C)                                                        PARADE WEATHER *
1962 JUN 23 26.7 18.3 SUNNY WITH CLOUDY PERIODS,         WARM
1963 JUN 22 23.3 6.7 MIX OF SUN AND CLOUD
1964 JUN 27 25.6 17.8 SUNNY, WARM, IDEAL WEATHER
1965 JUL 3 24.4 17.2 heavy downpour at start of parade (22 mm) then clearing
1966 JUL 2 33.9 17.2 sunny, hottest parade on record
1967 JUN 24 28.9 16.7 sunny, clear, warm
1968 JUN 22 21.7 13.9 cloudy, cool
1969 JUL 5 26.5 19.4 mix sun and clouds, warm
1970 JUN 27 21.7 12.2 clouds and sun, cool
1971 JUN 26 23.9 15.0 clouds giving way to sun
1972 JUN 24 16.1 11.1 overcast, cool, a few sprinkles
1973 JUN 23 23.9 15.6 mix of sun and cloud
1974 JUN 24 ? 20.6 11.7 sunny with cloudy periods, cool
1975 JUN 7 18.9 11.1 clouds and sun, cool
1976 JUN 26 26.1 15.0 sunny and warm
1977 JUN 25 23.0 18.0 partly        sunny after heavy morning tstorms (46 mm)
1978 JUN 24 23.5 11.0 partly cloudy and pleasant
1979 JUN 23 14.5 9.5 overcast, breezy, chilly
1980 JUN 21 23.0 10.0 sunny to cloudy, mild
1981 JUN 6 26.0 18.0 sunny, windy, warm
1982 JUN 12 22.0 11.5 mostly cloudy
1983 JUN 18 27.5 14.5 sunny and warm
1984 JUN 16 24.0 12.0 sunny, clear, ideal weather
1985 JUN 23 27.0 15.0 sunny, clear and warm   (first Sunday parade)
1986 JUN 22 28.0 13.0 sunny, warm
1987 JUN 21 26.0 16.0 mostly cloudy, hazy, warm
1988 JUN 19 29.0 11.0 sunny, hazy, hot
1989 JUN 18 24.0 12.5 partly sunny, breezy
1990 JUN 24 15.5 11.0 overcast, breezy, cool, some drizzle at times
1991 JUN 23 24.0 13.5 sunny, ideal weather
1992 JUN 21 11.0 6.0 overcast, record cold, patchy drizzle
1993 JUN 20 28.0 18.5 cloudy, hazy, humid
1994 JUN 19 29.0 20.5 mainly sunny, warm   (high of 34.5 on Sat Jun 18)
1995 JUN 18 29.0 17.0 sunny, warm
1996 JUN 23 21.5 10.0 mix sun and clouds
1997 JUN 21 28.0 18.0 partly sunny, breezy, warm
1998 JUN 20 29.0 18.5 sunny with a few clouds, warm
1999 JUN 19 25.0 10.0 partly sunny, dry, comfortable
2000 JUN 18 15.0 10.0 overcast, cool, a few showers (parade temp ~ 11c)
2001 JUN 17 26.0 15.0 sunny, warm, ideal
2002 JUN 16 18.0 12.5 overcast, cool, light rain  (2 mm)
2003 JUN 15 25.0 11.0 ideal weather, sunny, low humidity, light breeze
2004 JUN 13 27.0 15.0 some midday sprinkles otherwise overcast, humid, parade temp ~ 22C
2005 JUN 12 30.5 22.0 morning showers then hazy, hot and muggy, humidex 38C
2006 JUN 11 19.5 6.0 sunny with cloudy periods, cool
2007 JUN 17 30.0 17.0 clouds and hazy sun, hot
2008 JUN 15 27.5 15.0 sunny and warm, southwest breeze
2009 JUN 21 27.0 14.0 Partly sunny and warm
2010 JUN 13 22.0 16.5 overcast
2011 JUN 19 24.7 14.9 ** 50th anniversary parade **

ideal     weather, sunny, low humidity, light breeze

2012 JUN         24 24.1 14.3 cloudy
2013 JUN         23 30.2 20.1 mainly sunny and hot, humidex 35C
2014 JUN         22 27.0 12.0 sunny and warm, light winds and low         humidity
2015 JUN         21 26.2 15.7 clouds giving way to sun, warm and humid,         light wind
2016 JUN         26 31.0 16.3 mainly sunny,         BREEZY and hot, humidex 34C

* Parade weather information is based on Welland and local area weather records from Westside Firehall weather station, Welland airport data, as well as parade photos and newspaper accounts. For additional information on weather history in Welland, see History of the Welland climate station.

 

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