Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Warmer summer temperatures, big storms across much of Canada, Weather Network predicts


Seasonal or above-normal temperatures across much of the country will give Canadians a chance to enjoy summer, but predictions from a leading national forecaster warn that humidity could welcome a rather stormy few months.

Chris Scott, chief meteorologist for The Weather Network, says the summer coupled with an active jet stream that runs through Ontario and Quebec across the prairie will result in higher-than-normal rainfall.

While that doesn’t mean “every day is going to wash out,” Scott says he expects “some intense storms from time to time.”

Scott says western Canada is not shaping up to cope with the conditions that led to a devastating heat wave and wildfires in British Columbia last year.

The western province is expected to gradually emerge from a calm spring and near-normal temperatures starting in June, which he says will melt the snow and slow the start of wildfire season.

Across the Rockies, springtime dryness in Alberta and flooding extremes in Manitoba will end, he said, as rainfall returns to more normal levels in the prairie.

However, he noted the risk of drought conditions in southern Alberta, which could be affected by “epic heat” that is expected to grip areas south of the range.

“We have to see exactly where that big heat dome is installed,” he said.

“It sets the stage for thunderstorms … we could get big hail, big wind in the Prairies and we think there’s a good chance of this summer actually having a somewhat bigger storm than usual.”

In Ontario and Quebec, most regions are expected to experience “very hot and humid summers” that do not touch last year’s scorching June levels at all.

“We’re going to see very hot weather, very dry days,” he said ahead of the start of the meteorological heat on June 1. The official start of summer is June 21.

“But when we do get setup for rainfall, be extra cautious this summer because we think these storms could really pack a punch.”

Scott doesn’t anticipate a repeat of the “extremely rare” strong wind and thunderstorms that are blowing over Ontario and Quebec on May 21, but he urges Canadians – especially campers – when it comes to rapidly moving weather patterns. If it comes, be careful.

The Atlantic provinces can expect above-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures. He said those factors suggest a very active hurricane season in the region.

“We can’t say what hurricanes do; seasonal forecasts are a sketch,” he said.

“But if you’re in Halifax or Yarmouth—wherever you are in Atlantic Canada and obviously back in Quebec and Ontario—it’s a heads up. Be aware of the situation, especially tropical storms in July and August and With a tendency to storm.”

Temperatures should be below normal in Yukon and Nunavut, while rainfall remains close to normal.

Around Hudson Bay, he expected above-normal rainfall.

Scott noted that while extreme heat scenarios are progressing and will continue in that direction, some recent events around extreme weather events, such as strong thunderstorms, are difficult to predict.

“We’re getting more heat waves, exactly 100 percent. We’re getting less severe cold,” he said.

“In between, you’ve got this mix of heavy rain, but then what’s up with the strong wind and the hail and tornadoes? We don’t really know in that area. We never can because it’s a very long time of weather. The complicated part.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 31, 2022

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