The climate of Riding Mountain National Park is characteristic of the continental climate of the Canadian prairies. The summers are warm due to prevailing air masses from the south and southwest. Winters are characterized by cold fronts moving from the north and northwest. Turbulence generated by the Manitoba Escarpment, combined with the abundance of lakes and other wetlands, contributes to increased convective cloud and shower activity in the warmer months.
The warmest months are July and August respectively. Mean daily temperatures peak in July at 15.6°C (60°F). The corresponding mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures for July are 8.3 and 23.9°C (47 and 75°F). Therefore, although daytime temperatures may be hot, evenings generally are quite cool. January is the coldest month in the year with a mean daily temperature of -20.6°C (-6°F). Mean daily maximum and minimum temperatures for January are -13.8 and -27.3°C (7 and -17°F).
Riding Mountain National Park at Wasagaming has an average growing season of 72 days. Considerable variability in growing seasons may occur in the park from one year to the next.
Mean annual total precipitation is 47.6 cm (18.75 inches). Summer rainstorms are usually of short duration with relatively high storm precipitation levels. Thunderstorms are common. In winter, snowfalls tend to be of longer duration, greater frequency and lower storm precipitation totals than summer rainstorms. Rainfall may occur during winter months. Most rainfall occurs in June, July and August respectively. Most snowfall occurs in December and March.
In southern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan there are two prevailing wind directions, northwest and southeast. Wasagaming shows a similar trend, but with lighter winds than those occurring in rural areas around the park. This is a result of the higher frictional effects of the rolling topography and the influence of the forest cover. In general, the park has considerable variation in mean wind speeds from month to month and from one direction to another. In December, January and February mean wind speeds are lightest. In these months, however, occasional high winds may be recorded making travel of any kind very hazardous.
Humid days are not as frequent in Riding Mountain National Park as they are on the prairies. Some park visitors, however, will find the weather too hot and humid for at least 10 percent of the time during the month of July.
Weather forecast for Wasagaming
Forecasts are available for the following areas around the park: