The unusually warm and dry conditions across Western Canada this summer, fuelling widespread drought and devastating wildfires, will likely continue into the fall as two separate weather phenomena conspire to temper a typically rainy time of year.
The Weather Network released its latest three-month forecast on Monday, predicting that the strongest El Nino in years and a giant area of warm water off the coast of Alaska – which has become known as The Blob – will mean neither B.C. nor Alberta will likely see enough rain to bring them back to normal conditions.
Instead, Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist for The Weather Network, says the regions should expect less rain and warmer temperatures.
"It is unfortunate, but we do see this [warm and dry] pattern continuing," Ms. Vettese said.
In contrast, the rest of the country can expect typical fall weather, she said.
In Vancouver, where a weekend downpour provided some relief from the summer drought, Ms. Vettese said she expects the region will return to warmer, drier weather by the end of September and beyond.
"We will get a little bit of breaks here and there, like we saw this weekend, with some rain and cooler temperatures … but we do expect the overall pattern to be fairly warm and dry," Ms. Vettese said.
She added that any rain falling won't be enough to pull Western Canada out of drought, which has been blamed for hundreds of wildfires, threatened the agriculture industry and forced strict water restrictions in some jurisdictions.
"The damage has pretty much been done, especially when it comes to a lot of agriculture," she said. "It will certainly feel like there is more rain, but relative to normal, we're still going to come in short."
Normal precipitation levels in Vancouver range from 50 millimetres in September to 190 in November.
The rest of the country, on the other hand, can expect temperature swings on both sides of the spectrum, which is typical for the transitional season leading into winter, she said.
"The first week of September [in Ontario and Quebec] looks like it belongs in July," Ms. Vettese said. "Going into November, it looks like we'll see a swing the other way, where we'll get an early taste of winter … but then in December we swing back the other way."
Same for the Prairies, which is forecasted to see slightly above-normal temperature and precipitation averages for the season, a result of swings.
Despite being normal for this time of year, such changing conditions can still bring unexpected severe weather events, Ms. Vettese noted.
"We do need to keep an eye on those areas for extreme weather events going forward into the winter," she said. "If you have milder air, but you have precipitation coming in – that's a precipitation-type nightmare … when it comes to freezing rain."
The Maritimes – coming off an unusual summer that saw Newfoundland experience a record-setting cold July followed by the warmest August – can also expect near normal temperatures and precipitation levels in the region's forecast.