Nfld. & Labrador

Warmer and drier fall expected for N.L. so far: Environment Canada

As the seasons change, things should remain a bit warmer and drier than average, according to the Gander weather office.

It's September, but don't take the parka out just yet

Views like this one in Cape St. George could continue into the fall, with warmer and drier weather than usual expected. (Submitted by Rich Wheeler)

It was a warm summer, but fall is bearing down — but the colder temperatures may not arrive right away.

We're moving into the transitional season, with days getting shorter, but the higher-than-average temperatures might stick around a bit longer, Rodney Barney, who is with the Gander weather office of Environment Canada, told the Central Morning Show Tuesday.

"Our long-range, or our seasonal forecast models, do indicate temperatures remaining kind of above average going into the fall months," Barney said.

That said, temperatures are more likely to be variable going forward, he said. Some of that already showed up last week as September began, when temperatures in the Gander area and elsewhere in the province dropped mid-week and then rebounded for the weekend.

"We're starting to see that little bit of a roller coaster developing," he said.

Watch the wind

As is often the case in Newfoundland and Labrador, fall temperatures will often depend on which way the wind is blowing.

On days when there's a northerly or northeasterly wind coming in off the ocean off the north, temperatures will be cooler, Barney said.

However, warmer waters south of Newfoundland could affect temperatures on the island in the other direction.

"What we do have to the south of the island is an area well above normal water temperatures, temperatures running two to three degrees above normal in response to that warm summer, and that extends back out over the Gulf Stream," he said.

"Any time that wind is coming up from that direction, it's likely to stay a bit warmer than usual."

Keep an eye on the storms

Newfoundlanders in particular will also want to keep an eye on the storm activity in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, he said, especially with a patch of warmer water sitting just south of the island.

The storm season has been fairly quiet so far, he said, but there's been an uptick of activity in the Caribbean in the past week or so.

With warmer-than-normal temperatures south of Newfoundland, if one of the tropical storms ends up nearby it could hang on to its intensity longer than normal.

"It's very difficult to predict if or when anything in particular may be coming this way, but should anything develop and start tracking north we're certainly going to want to keep an eye on it with those warmer water temperatures in place," Barney said.

El Nino not likely a problem

This is also an El Nino season, which generally brings with it warmer but stormier temperatures. However, so far this year's El Nino — an area of warmer water temperatures in the Pacific — appears to be weak or moderate.

"El Nino is over a continent away from us, so we're kind of on the tail end of any influence from that phenomena," he said. However, if the intensity increases there might be a stronger correlation between El Nino activity and weather on this side of the continent.

As of right now El Nino is not likely to have much effect in Newfoundland and Labrador, he said, but we'll want to watch the intensity of the system over the next few months.

More rain, but also less rain

When it comes to weather forecasting, temperature trends are less challenging that precipitation trends, Harvey said.

That said, as of right now it doesn't look like there are precipitation extremes in the near future.

"Right now the forecast models are suggesting near-average precipitation," he said.

That itself represents an increase in precipitation after a very dry August, particularly in central Newfoundland.

In August the Gander weather office normally records 104 mm of rainfall, but this year there were just under 40 mm, Harvey said, less than half the expected average.

As things currently look, precipitation isn't likely to increase significantly until later in the fall, he said.

"It's going to probably take a little bit of time for that to unfold because in the short term, even over the next couple of weeks, the weather is still looking fairly dry."

With files from the Central Morning Show

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador