With the official start of summer just days away, Environment Canada predicts we’ll have “beer weather” with a warmer-than-usual summer — but storms may be on the way.
“Our models show that for most of the country, we will be able to put the ‘warmer than normal’ label from coast to coast,” Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips told CTV News on Sunday. Channel.
“Certainly for most of Canada in the future the weather will be better for drinking beer, going to the beach, and I think Canadians enjoy a summer like this.”
We are already seeing some of this warmer weather across Canada. Heat warnings are currently in place in southern Manitoba and parts of northern Ontario near the Manitoba border in particular.
The Manitoba Marathon was supposed to take place this Sunday, but shortly after the start of the race, temperatures soared above 30 degrees and organizers canceled it over safety concerns.
Manitoba “wants it to dry out,” Phillips said, as the province recently struggled with flooding, “and it’s starting to.” But the heat jump in this region at the moment is dramatic.
“Winnipeg could see 37 degrees today, which is 13 degrees warmer than it normally would be, and I think warmer than any time last year,” Phillips said.
Throughout the spring, Canada experienced a wide range of weather conditions.
“Last week we saw snowfall totals of 30cm of snow in the Rocky Mountains, we saw threatening rain in parts of southern Alberta. […] it was kind of good news for farmers and producers. And certainly here in the east, about a month ago we had this windstorm […] it was one of the costliest storms in Canadian history, and then last week we had thunderstorms and near misses and Montreal received heavy amounts of rain and standing water,” said Phillips said.
“So we’ve had our share of weird, wild, extreme weather, but I think overall this spring has been a bit cool and wet in most parts of Canada.”
He added that if you look globally, Canada has been “one of the coldest regions in the world” during this first half of 2022.
This prepares us for a warmer summer.
But one of the big outliers for this sweltering summer is British Columbia, he said.
“The models have improved somewhat to give them more summer than they were maybe a week ago,” he said. “But [it looks] like they were going to be in season, the Goldilocks kind of weather: not too hot, not too cold.
Last year, British Columbia experienced one of the worst wildfire seasons the province has ever seen. By this time in 2021, there had been 277 fires in the province, compared to the 152 wildfires that have occurred so far in 2022. More than 8,700 square kilometers of land were burned in British Columbia in 2021 On top of that, a dangerous “heat dome” in late June and early July 2021 caused four times the number of deaths the region typically sees during that time, with 619 fatalities due to extreme heat. A cooler summer this year will likely be a welcome change.
Phillps added that if things heat up too quickly in British Columbia, we could have the opposite of fires: flooding.
“I’m concerned that if it gets too hot, too fast, then they’re going to have real flood situations, because they have a very high snowpack in the middle and high elevations in the mountains, and if you go from melting snow to sweat, well all of a sudden that snow is going to melt, and you’re going to have rivers that are going to be clogged and streams, and there could definitely be flooding,” he said .
This forecast of a warmer summer for Canada as a whole, with British Columbia appearing to be cooler than the rest of the country, echoes The Weather Network’s official summer forecast, which was released in late May and predicted warmer weather. with a risk of storms.
Phillips noted that whenever there is high heat and accompanying humidity, we have the conditions for a storm to be brewing.
“We certainly don’t have forecasts for an upcoming season in terms of storms,” he said. “We just know that when warm weather is accompanied by high humidity, storms are going to erupt in Canada – so always keep an eye on the skies.”
It looks like while summer will come with great beach days across the country, it might be a good idea to have a back-up plan in case it rains.