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October: Notoriously changeable month will live up to its reputation

Thursday, October 1st 2020, 5:09 am - Dramatic swings in temperature, rain, and even some snow, will all be part of October 2020.

October is typically a month of change. Across Canada, the month features a dramatic drop in “seasonal” or “normal” temperatures. We start the month hoping for one final taste of late-summer weather, but many Canadians see their first flakes of the season before the month is over.

October is also a month that typically brings wild temperature swings. In fact, it is unusual to see consistently temperatures that are near the long-term “normal” or average for the date.

This is well illustrated by the pattern that we will find across Canada through early October. During the first seven to 10 days of the month, above-seasonal temperatures will dominate across Western Canada and at times it will feel more like August than October. Below-normal rain totals will also accompany the warm weather. Above-seasonal temperatures are also expected to dominate across Newfoundland.


However, early October will at times feel more like late October and even early November across Ontario and Quebec. Temperatures well below-seasonal will be quite a contrast to the late summer-like weather the region saw during the final week of September. Parts of northern Ontario and northern Quebec will likely see some wet snow during the first few days of October.

Across the Maritimes, the back and forth swings in temperatures should come close to offsetting each other to produce near “normal” temperatures. We also expect an active pattern with near-normal or above-normal precipitation across Atlantic Canada.


However, as we head into mid-October, we expect a shift in the pattern. This will bring a cooler and much wetter pattern to B.C. and the Yukon. The above-seasonal temperatures will shift east across the Prairies and eventually reach into Ontario and Quebec, possibly by Thanksgiving.

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However, keep in mind that seasonal temperatures drop by near roughly 2°C per week during October across Central Canada, so it will not be as warm as what we saw during late September. Dry weather is also expected to dominate across this region.

Near-normal temperatures are expected across the Maritimes during mid-October and Newfoundland should tip to the warm side of normal. A less active pattern is expected with fewer rainy days than normal, but we will have to keep a close watch on the potential for one more tropical system to impact the region.

Overall, this pattern should continue to dominate during late October. However, temporary interruptions should be expected, and we are watching the potential for another shot of chilly weather for Ontario and Quebec before the end of the month.

So, here is a look at the forecast for the month as a whole.

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While individual days could be wildly different, we think that the final numbers will be near-normal or above-normal for much of Canada. This should allow ample opportunity to get outside to enjoy some gorgeous fall weather and the fall foliage.

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