Wednesday, August 10th 2022, 11:35 am - With summer slowly slipping away, Canadians are likely curious how the weather pattern will fare for the unofficial final three weeks of the season
After a sluggish start, summer finally hit its stride during July, with even more extreme heat building across sections of central and eastern Canada as we kicked off the month of August.
But now with the remainder of vacation time being used up and the summer season slowly slipping away, a national pattern change is well underway -- one that will see the focus of the heat shifting back into the west for the next couple of weeks.
August started on a steamy note from southern Ontario to Atlantic Canada, with several 30°C days recorded along with high and unbearable humidex values at times as well.
However, as we take a look ahead at mid-August and beyond, the focus of the heat is set to reside back in western Canada.
A heat dome is building across central and western parts of the U.S., with the northern extent of it bulging north into western Canada feeding communities in southern B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan with 30°C temperatures for several days. There is even the potential for temperatures to trend dangerously into the mid to upper 30s by late next week. The heat combined with a mostly dry pattern will result in a heightened risk for wildfires.
With the focus of the heat in the west, a near to slightly below seasonal trend will dominate further to the east. This will bring an extended break from the heat and humidity to Ontario, Quebec and into the Maritimes.
"The hottest weather of the summer is likely behind us in Ontario and Quebec, but summer is by no means over," says Dr. Doug Gillham, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.
The next two weeks look to be pleasant across the region, with temperatures hitting the low to mid 20s most days. By average standards for this time of year however, this will trend slightly below seasonal.
"This won't be anything truly autumnal, but brief hints of fall will be in the air," Gillham says.
Above seasonal temperatures are expected to return to southern Ontario and Quebec at times during the final stretch of August as the western heat will spread back east. However, with seasonal temperatures also slowly falling, it's not likely that we will see any extended stretch of days with the humidex topping 40.
"We've had years when the hottest weather of the summer waited until deep into August and even September, but that won't be the case this year as the peak of summer heat actually occurred during the peak of summer," adds Gillham.
There have also been years that have featured an early arrival of fall weather, but that isn't likely either this time around.
"We have an abundance of spectacular late summer weather ahead for southern Ontario over the next few weeks," Gillham says.
Changeable temperatures will dominate Atlantic Canada into next week, with a couple shots of cooler weather for the Maritimes. This will be quite a contrast to the hot weather that has dominated the region over the past six weeks.
Very warm weather returns to Newfoundland this weekend however, and that will continue through most of next week.
We're also watching for some substantial rain for the Maritimes this weekend as a low pressure system develops over the Atlantic and tracks north into the Maritimes, with widespread beneficial rain and the potential for locally heavy downpours. Significant rain is expected for parts of Newfoundland as well, but at this point it looks like the heaviest rain will miss the areas impacted by wildfires.
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"Overall, a wetter pattern is expected during mid-August for the East Coast, the only part of Canada that has the potential to be wetter than normal during the next two weeks," says Gillham.
Widespread warm pattern for late August
For the final days of August, we expect that the focus of the late summer heat will continue to be across western Canada. However, it appears that the hot weather will also sprawl east, resulting in above seasonal temperatures across most of Canada.
Of course, seasonal temperatures slowly fall as we progress through the month of August, so it is unlikely that late August temperatures will be as warm as what we saw during late July. However, it does appear that a summer season which started sluggishly will finish strongly across most of Canada.