Summer weather forecasts vary sharply across Canada

The weather this summer could be starkly different across Canada, at least according to one long-range forecast.
Summer weather predictions of heat and lack of rain in British Columbia could mean water restrictions. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

The weather this summer could be starkly different across Canada, according to the latest long-range forecast from The Weather Network.

Chief meteorologist Chris Scott predicts the wet weather Ontario and Quebec have experienced in May will continue during the summer and could lead to a heightened risk of flash flooding in some areas.

In contrast, he's forecasting more hot, dry weather for most of Western Canada, raising the wildfire threat, which has already prompted evacuations in northwestern Alberta.

"We expect the wildfire risk to be heightened this summer," said Scott.

He said there will be an "above-normal season" for wildfires for most of B.C., western Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

But Scott said that generally, this summer won't be remembered for its heat — except for B.C. — which he noted was expected to be "the king of the heat this summer."

Scott broke down the summer forecast region by region:

British Columbia

B.C. can expect a hotter and drier-than-normal summer that will bring a consistent threat of wildfires.

"We've already seen some warm days and we expect June overall will continue that trend," he said.

He also the warned the heat and lack of rain could be particularly hard on urban residents because of the possibility of water restrictions.


Scott said his network is predicting slightly below average precipitation for the Prairies, but not to the point where farmers should be concerned about drought conditions.

"Alberta's always the swing province in terms of weather," he said. "We expect that to be the case again this summer with it really flipping between warm and cool depending on the week."

The long-range forecast is predicting slightly below-average precipitation for the Prairies, but not to the point where farmers should be concerned about drought conditions. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

The network is predicting near-normal temperatures in general for the Edmonton to Calgary corridor, with precipitation also close to normal.

"We'll get our normal share of active summer weather — thunderstorms, hail storms," Scott said, adding "it's part of living in that part of the country."

The forecast for Saskatchewan and Manitoba calls for slightly lower-than-normal summer temperatures, with close to average precipitation.

Ontario, Quebec

Scott predicts seasonally cooler conditions in northern Ontario and Quebec, and "near-normal" temperatures in the southern parts of the provinces, which together will increase the chance of rain.

A vehicle is parked in a watery spot on Toronto Islands. It's anticipated the wet weather that characterized much of the spring will persist in the summer. (Lauren Pelley/CBC)

He said southern Ontario and Quebec will get their hot days, but there won't be as many as last summer.

"Last summer was a deadly one," Scott said, referencing the heat-related deaths in Quebec. "We don't expect this summer to be as hot."

He said there will be some heavy periods of rain in the southern part of the region that will exceed average precipitation levels for the area.

"But we don't want to convey that this is a washout of a summer — it does not look that way. It just means that when it rains it pours."

Scott suggested the wet weather that characterized much of the spring will persist in the summer, leading to a "heightened threat for flash flooding."

He pointed to extreme weather conditions, such as the Toronto flood in July 2013 and the Burlington, Ont., flooding a year later, as examples of what could recur this year.

Atlantic Canada

The Atlantic provinces can expect "generally near normal temperatures," with some above average temps also forecast for the southern Maritimes due to humid air moving into the region from the Great Lakes, Scott said.

Don't expect a lot of heat in June, but prepare for more humidity across the region in July and August, he said.

Northern Canada

Scott said to "expect an above-normal fire season as you head west of Yellowknife, especially, and then into the Yukon."

The network predicts normal to slightly warmer-than-average temperatures extending to the Alaska border, with near-normal temperatures and precipitation forecast for Nunavut.


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