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September sneak peek: What's ahead for the last weeks of summer

Tuesday, August 18th 2020, 7:51 am - Despite some parts of the country seeing a cooldown this week, there will be plenty of summer warmth in September for most people.

Thanks to a flip in the weather pattern, record heat is flooding parts of Western Canada, while Eastern Canada is getting a taste of early fall. This is in sharp contrast to what we have seen for most of the summer across the country. Will the West finally see consistent heat and is summer over in the eastern half of Canada? For a look ahead at what we can expect during the month of September, please read on.

First, here’s a quick look back at what we have seen so far this summer across Canada.

Most of the summer has featured warmer than normal temperatures across the eastern half of Canada and a lack of consistent heat across the western half of Canada where temperatures have been near seasonal or on the cool side of seasonal for much of the summer.

The map below shows temperatures compared to normal since the middle of June.

Past two months temperature anomaly

However, we are in the midst of a temporary pattern change. This past weekend brought record heat to parts of British Columbia and the hot weather has now shifted to the southern Prairies where temperatures will continue to reach the low-to-mid-30s for several days this week.

Meanwhile, cooler weather is paying a quick visit to Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. There will be a hint of early fall in the air for many across much of the region for the next few days.

The map below shows a model forecast for temperature anomalies this week. While there isn’t anything unusual about the cooler weather, for many it is a sharp contrast to the hot weather that has dominated much of the summer.

This week temperature anomaly

However, this pattern change will be rather short-lived. During the final week of August this pattern will breakdown and we will see more changeable temperatures across Canada with most places seeing a mix of days that are above seasonal and below seasonal.

By the time that we get to the start of September, we expect that we will be back to a familiar pattern – one that will feature near-seasonal or below-seasonal temperatures across western Canada and above seasonal temperatures from southern Manitoba to Newfoundland.

While we won’t see this pattern every day, we expect this will be the dominant pattern through the end of September.

September temperature pattern

However, it is important to keep in mind that “normal” temperatures have already started to drop, so above-normal temperatures for September will not be as hot as what we saw during July. But, after a hint of early fall for much of eastern Canada this week, summer weather will return. For southern Ontario and southern Quebec, we will likely have several more days that approach or exceed 30°C before we settle into more consistent fall weather.

The western half of Canada will still see some summer-like weather at times during September, but we do not expect any consistent heat. As we get deeper into the month of September, we are concerned that parts of the region will see an early end to the growing season.

For more information on what we can expect during October and November (and a look ahead at our preliminary winter forecast), please check back on Monday, September 14th, for the release of our fall forecast.

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