Canada's fall forecast: Storms and drought are on the way

Graphic from Accuweather.

Ready or not, fall is around the corner, and this year might be a mild one for much of Canada.

That’s according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Brett Anderson, who told Yahoo Canada News to expect mild, stormy conditions in the east along with warm and dry weather in the west over the coming months.

That forecast may not be what people in British Columbia and Alberta want to hear after months of widespread wildfires that has devastated thousands of square kilometres of land. This year has already been the worst wildfire season for B.C. in six decades – and it’s not over yet. The weather expert warned these fires may persist until November.

“Fire danger is still going to be very high to extreme from southern B.C. right through at least western Manitoba right through the fall season,” Anderson said. “Air quality will continue to be an issue with the overall pattern that we’re projecting for September and the first half of October.”

November should be when these fires slow down as the weather pattern is expected to drastically change, opening the door for an increase in storms for B.C., according to Anderson, who warned air quality may still be an issue this fall.

As for what to expect in the east, the weather expert acknowledged he wasn’t too hopeful for conditions drastically different.

“Based on the overall patterns, September and into October, I do think storm tracks are going to be directed into Ontario and into Quebec,” Anderson said. “So I think we’re going to see plenty of opportunities for rainfall in the next couple of months across the region.”

‘Fairly mild’ in eastern Canada

The forecast isn’t entirely bad news for Ontario and Quebec. Accuweather isn’t forecasting temperatures to drop too significantly this fall.

“It’s still going to be fairly mild, especially night time temperatures across eastern Canada, they’ll be well above normal,” he said. “In many areas, the frost freeze will be delayed, at least in Quebec and eastward.”

However, you may want to pack an umbrella before you head out for the day as there is still a lot of cloud cover and moisture in the air around the Great Lakes, which has water temperatures trending well above normal.

Looking further east, Anderson said it’s fair to expect warmer than average temperatures in the Maritimes from now until early October, along with fairly wet conditions.

While it’s tough to predict whether major tropical storms will make its way toward Atlantic Canada, Anderson warned if there is a storm coming up from the south, it probably won’t weaken as quickly as it normally would due to water temperatures that are well above average in the Atlantic.

“It really depends on the actual weather pattern for a given week,” the meterologist explained. “I would say there’s a slightly higher than normal risk for a tropical storm system impacting Atlantic Canada the rest of this month at least through the first half of October.”

No drought relief for Prairies

If you’re worried about an early snowfall in Canada, you shouldn’t be too concerned. The white stuff is expected to fall later than it usually would in the east, but it might begin to fall by early November near the Rocky Mountains and western Prairies.

“As we get into November, I do think temperatures will likely trend back closer to normal and we may start to see slightly drier conditions, at least in Ontario, as the storm track shifts off into the Canadian Maritimes,” the weather expert said.

November is also expected to be the month that marks a shift to much colder temperatures for the Prairies as Arctic fronts are predicted to push southward, setting the stage for some frigid days in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Until then, there isn’t much in the forecast in terms of relief from drought conditions for the southern areas of these two provinces.

Overall, it’s expected to be a season with different conditions in different parts of the country, which isn’t unusual for such a large country.

But if you’re looking for fall colours, Anderson said he expects trees to turn earlier than past years, setting the stage for beautiful scenes in many parts of Canada. Typically, the best time to see fall foliage is from late September through October.