Toronto

Environment Canada predicts a 'warmer than normal' fall

There's a glimmer of hope for those still bidding a mournful goodbye to the summer of 2019. According to senior climatologist David Phillips, we can expect a "warmer than normal" fall season this year.

But still pack a sweater, because it's a 'season of changes'

High Park and the city's other green spaces will soon turn orange and red. Although climatologist David Phillips says September, October and November are 'difficult' months to predict, temperatures this year look like they will be warmer than last year. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press )

There's a glimmer of hope for all those bidding a mournful goodbye to summer on the first day of fall — Environment Canada is betting we'll see a mild autumn. 

Unlike last year, where it felt like fall was only about a month long before the winter chill set in, senior climatologist Dave Phillips said we can expect "warmer than normal" temperatures this year. 

"We think the water is warmer, that land is warmer," Phillips told Matt Galloway on CBC Radio's Metro Morning Monday. 

"We think it will certainly be better than last year." 

Summer ended on a high note this weekend, with temperatures soaring above 30 C. And if that's not enough, Phillips says there may be more summery days in store. 

Last October and November were "winter-like" he said, "but this year we think there will be enough southerly air ... don't write the final chapter on summer-like weather." 

But before you get too excited about a longer season of pumpkin spice lattes and crisp fall temperatures, Phillips says autumn can be unpredictable, with moments of winter weather creeping in.

"Most weather forecasters say that fall is the toughest season to get accurate in terms of prediction," Phillips said. "It's really a season of changes." 

Speaking of change, Phillips said it could be a good year for those who like seeing the leaves change from green to bright orange and red.

According to a website tracking Ontario's Algonquin Park, the province's maple trees will reach their fall peak this week. Other areas dominated by poplar trees are still green and will likely stay that way until mid-October. 

Clocks turn back Nov. 3 

But as the leaves change, so do hours of daylight. Sunrise now starts at around 7:05 a.m., with sunset around 7:13 p.m. By the end of November, you'll only have daylight from about 7:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. 

Clocks will turn back one hour on November 3 at 2 a.m. 

As darkness begins setting in earlier, the risk of collisions increases as drivers adjust to longer periods of reduced visibility. Road safety is a serious issue as fatal incidents in the city continue — police statistics show at least 22 pedestrians have been struck and killed as of mid-September 2019. 

Winter will officially start on Saturday, December 21. 

With files from Metro Morning

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