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Precipitation amounts and variability in a cool climate wine region, southern Quebec, Canada

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Recent climatic changes to warmer conditions, in both winter and summer, are creating more amenable conditions for growing vitis vinifera grapes in southern Quebec, an area considered to be a cool climate wine region. Gradual increases in growing season length, growing and dormant season temperatures, both maximum and minimum, are creating a general amelioration in wine grape growing conditions here. Although these recent increases in temperatures, as has been documented in southern Quebec, are well established, results from precipitation investigations are lacking. Both the intensity and magnitude of precipitation events require analysis. The present study uses non-parametric time series to analyze changes in growing season and September total precipitation, and changes in precipitation intensity during the September ripening period. This mid-latitude climatic zone has historically seen relatively high precipitation amounts. The results from this study indicate that in the southern Quebec wine grape growing regions little change has occurred in both the total amount of precipitation received and the intensity of that precipitation over the 35-year study period. Wet growing season and ripening period conditions continue to present a challenge for growers in this region.
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Keywords: Southern Quebec; Wine industry; climate change

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Environment and Geography, Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Publication date: October 2, 2019

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