Is September the best month for a summer vacation in Montreal?

Montreal summers are getting longer and hotter, data compiled by CBC News shows, prompting some residents to take time off in September.

Record summer campsite reservations, high temperatures in September lead to new late vacation trend

Quebec's provincial parks agency, SÉPAQ, says there have been a record number of reservations this year. (Marie-Eve Maheu/Radio-Canada)

This article was originally published in 2016.

Montreal summers are getting longer and hotter, data compiled by CBC News shows, prompting some residents to take time off in September.

Numbers provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada show average temperatures have been creeping up, especially in late summer.

Elaine Ayotte, a spokeswoman for Quebec's provincial parks agency, SÉPAQ, said the camping season is increasingly stretching past August and into the fall.

Overall, average temperatures have increased across all summer months.

Since 2000, there have been almost double the number of days over 30 C between June and September than there were in the 40 years before, Environment and Climate Change Canada said. 

High heat trends over the past few years may be one reason provincial parks are overflowing, with urbanites looking for ways to escape the hot city.  

Mid-summer vacations: Beer, family, rage

David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the "dog days" of mid-summer may be worth avoiding for vacationers because of the uncomfortable heat.

The high humidity in the summer can deprive campers of sleep and can sour a vacation.

"Weather rage breaks out," Phillips said.

But he understands the appeal.

"It may be that because you've got kids in school, you're forced to holiday during July and August," Phillips said.

"And certainly if you're interested in good beer-drinking weather, well, that would be a good time to go."

Humidex is a big factor in Quebec heat waves, and according to Environment Canada, days with a humidex above 30 drop off significantly in September. 

On average, there are four days in September with a humidex above 30, compared to 17 in June.

Shoulder season: Milder temperatures, fewer tornados

Aside from fewer muggy days, September means clearer skies and less rain, according to Phillips.

Despite the appeal of a September vacation, families may be stuck in the 'weather rage' heat of mid-summer, according to climatologist David Phillips. (Camp Seggie/Facebook )

There are about five thunderstorm days June through August, and by September, there are two.

"Thunderstorms can be a surrogate for tornadoes and hail and strong winds and flooding rains," Phillips said.

He added that even though temperatures may be cooling down, water is warmer in September since it's had three months to warm up, and it retains the heat.

Phillips says there's another bonus: Since fall is considered shoulder season in the tourism industry, there are often more discounts for travellers than in the summer. 

When the season is over, SÉPAQ will evaluate its reservations over the course of the summer and see if it needs to do more to keep up with demand.

While a longer summer may be great for September vacationers, Ayotte said not everyone may be happy with hotter weather dragging on into the fall.

"Hunting is less favourable because of the heat."

Hunting season for white-tailed deer begins in September. But according to SÉPAQ, the heat is hurting hunting season. (The Associated Press)

June, July, August, September: when do you take time off in the summer and why that time?

with files from Melissa Fundira, Roberto Rocha


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