BIG TIP –
A sunny and unusually warm start to November caused people to embrace the heat as winter approached, but it also raised concerns about the impacts of climate change.
As daytime temperatures rose above normal in southern Manitoba on Thursday, Dale LaMonica and Nick Jeninga hit the ties at Southside Golf Course.
“I’m pretty sure this is my first time playing golf in November,” Jeninga said.
With temperatures set to stay above normal throughout the weekend, the golf course, which closed on October 31, has reopened.
“I was actually pretty excited,” LaMonica said. “I just got into golf this year and love it so any chance to go out and swing with the club a little more this year is great.”
In anticipation of winter, crews have already installed orange snow fences to help protect the greens. So they cut off temporary putting surfaces, allowing golfers to take advantage of the unusually gentle fall for the season.
“Due to popular demand, the weekend is almost full of tee times,” said Jaclyn Steep, general manager of Southside Golf Course. “It’s amazing. We are very lucky to be extending our season.
Natalie Hasell, a weather preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, said southern Manitoba has been trending above normal temperatures since late August.
“The next few days are considerably warmer than normal so it’s good for people to take advantage of it,” Hasell said.
As experts warn of the direct link between a weather event and climate change, Hasell said it was a factor that cannot be ignored during this gentle fall.
“I think climate change certainly plays a role in what we are seeing,” Hasell said. “There are natural oscillations that would occur whether or not there is climate change. “
It comes amid climate talks in Glasgow and a severe drought across much of southern Manitoba that has resulted in restrictions on water use over the summer and impacted the crop and livestock sectors.
For those working in the golf industry, it’s hard to see a downside to a longer season, but extreme weather conditions and the impacts of climate change are issues they need to consider.
“A lot of the golf courses have really suffered from drought this season and communities in general,” Steep said. “Really, when you’re planning for the future, that’s something we need to build into our conversation now. “
Southside Golf Course said the last time it had remained open in recent years was November 15. Normal temperatures next week could end their season earlier than this year.
Temperatures around this time last year were well above normal, hitting 18 degrees Celsius while 2019 and 2018 were closer to normal, according to Environment Canada data.
Hasell said that even with climate change, there will continue to be season-to-season and year-to-year variability.