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Canada's 2021 Fall Forecast: Savour pleasant weather while it lasts

Tuesday, September 14th 2021, 6:12 am - Will it be a more traditional fall season across Canada, or is winter lurking just around the corner? Here's what to expect over the next three months.

Historic heat, severe drought and wildfires dominated headlines across Canada during the past summer. However, the summer heat has quickly given way to more typical early fall weather across Canada. Can we now expect a more traditional fall season across Canada? Or is winter lurking just around the corner?

While most of Canada has seen an early arrival of cooler early fall weather, warm weather is not finished with much of Canada just yet. Late September and October will feature extended periods of pleasant fall weather with near seasonal or above seasonal temperatures.

Here is a look at our temperature forecast for the second half of September, October and into November.

National temperatures (Fall Forecast)

SEE ALSO: Why do leaves change colour in the fall?

Most of Canada should see near normal or above normal temperatures, with the warmest weather relative to normal extending from Ontario to Newfoundland.

However, we do expect a pattern reversal late in the season. For Ontario, Quebec and parts of the Maritimes, this should bring a quicker start to winter than we have often seen during the past 20 years. We have become accustomed to very mild Decembers, but this year should bring more typical amounts of winter weather during the weeks leading up to and through the holidays.

End of fall pattern (Fall Forecast)

Meanwhile, across Western Canada, we expect that the arrival of consistent cold weather will be temporarily delayed.

Across most of Canada, we expect near normal precipitation totals for the fall season. However, for most of B.C., we expect above normal precipitation. Most of Atlantic Canada could also end up wetter than normal as the tropical season continues to be very active.

National precipitation (Fall Forecast)

Below is a more detailed look at what we expect across Canada over the next three months:

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Near normal temperatures are expected across most of B.C., but southern areas should be slightly warmer than normal. A typical number of fall storms and rainy days are expected, but this should result in above normal precipitation totals as moisture-laden systems will bring a heightened risk for excessive rainfall at times. Mild temperatures are expected for the end of fall and continuing into December.

WHAT’S TO FOLLOW B.C.’S HISTORIC SUMMER:

ALBERTA

Near normal temperatures and precipitation are expected across Alberta. This will be quite a contrast to the drought conditions that dominated the year so far, helping to replenish the groundwater supply. A few shots of cold weather are likely early in the season, bringing a heightened risk for an early-season freeze, and an end to a what has been a very difficult growing season. Of course, a normal fall will typically include a few shots of early winter weather. However, we expect that the arrival of consistent cold will be delayed with above normal temperatures expected for December.

Calgary Monthly Snow Averages

SASKATCHEWAN AND MANITOBA

Alternating periods of above normal and below normal temperatures should come close to offsetting each other from mid-September through December, resulting in near normal temperatures for the season. However, a few shots of cold weather are likely early in the season, which will bring a heightened risk for an early-season freeze and an end of a what has been a very difficult growing season. Precipitation totals are expected to be near normal, which will help to replenish the groundwater.

FROST RISK COULD MEAN EARLY END TO GROWING SEASON ACROSS THE PRAIRIES:

ONTARIO

Warmer than normal temperatures are expected to dominate the heart of the fall season, with extended periods of fair weather and warmer than normal temperatures during the second half of September and October. This should provide excellent opportunities to get out and enjoy the fall foliage.

Toronto YYZ average temperatures

However, a pattern change during late fall should bring an earlier arrival to winter weather, and more winter weather leading up to the holidays than we have often seen over the past 20 years. This period of colder weather should also bring an abundance of lake effect snow to the traditional snowbelts east and southeast of the Great Lakes.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE STORM TRACK IN ONTARIO:

QUEBEC

Extended periods of fair weather and warmer than normal temperatures are expected during the second half of September and October. This will provide excellent opportunities to get out and enjoy the fall foliage. However, a pattern change during late fall is expected to bring an earlier arrival to winter weather, and more winter weather leading up to the holidays than we have often seen over the past 20 years.

IT WILL BE HIGHLY VARIABLE MONTH-TO-MONTH IN QUEBEC:

ATLANTIC CANADA

Warmer than normal temperatures are expected to dominate the fall season, along with the typical number of fall storms. However, an active hurricane season is expected to continue, so we will continue to keep an eye on the tropics and the potential for a couple of systems to bring excessive rainfall totals to parts of the region. Near normal temperatures are expected for December.

OCEAN TEMPERATURES WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN EXPECTED PRECIPITATION ACROSS ATLANTIC CANADA:

NORTHERN CANADA

Near normal temperatures and precipitation are expected across the Yukon, while above normal temperatures and precipitation are expected for eastern Nunavut, including Iqaluit. The coldest weather relative to normal is expected to shift from near Hudson Bay to western parts of the N.W.T. in mid-fall.

CANADA’S NORTH CAN EXPECT A WIDE VARIETY OF TEMPERATURE SWINGS AND PRECIPITATION:

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