Canada's October outlook: Slow slide or freefall into colder weather?

October is a month that can deliver both our final taste of late summer-like weather and our first hint of early winter weather. What can we expect this year?

October is a month that can deliver both our final taste of late summer-like weather and our first hint of early winter weather. What can we expect this year? Please read on for our October forecast. But first, here is a quick recap of September.

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Fall got off to a rather warm start across most of Canada with warmer than normal temperatures continuing deep into September. The various shades of orange and red on the temperature anomaly map below highlight the widespread warmer than normal temperatures that many enjoyed during the month.

September 2022 Temperature Anomaly

The white on the map across most of Ontario, southern Quebec and New Brunswick indicates near-normal temperatures for the month as a whole.

However, the summary for the month doesn’t tell the whole story. Here is a look at what we saw during the final 10 days of September.

Late September 2022 Temperature Anomaly

While most of Western Canada and parts of Atlantic Canada continued to be warmer than normal, a large part of the country from the eastern Prairies to southern Quebec experienced an abrupt transition from late summer-like weather to temperatures more typical of October.

A similar pattern is expected to continue well into October. Here is our forecast for the first two weeks of October.

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Temp Pattern First Half October 2022

Warmer than normal temperatures will continue to dominate across Western Canada. There will be quick shots of colder weather, but we will also see temperatures more typical of late summer at times and even some record-breaking warmth is expected for some places. We will also see a delay in the start of the rainy season for B.C.'s South Coast.

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For Ontario, Quebec and into Atlantic Canada we will see a couple stretches of pleasant weather with mild temperatures. However, we will also see a couple shots of rather chilly weather, especially as we head into the start of Thanksgiving weekend when temperatures will be more typical of early November.

How long will this pattern last? There are several signals in the global pattern that support a shift in the pattern, which would allow the warmer than normal weather in the west to spread back east into Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

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However, our forecast confidence for the middle and end of October is lower than normal. The early October pattern is not going to play out as we originally expected when we released our fall forecast. This is because the jet stream pattern was highly disrupted by the storm tracks of several typhoons in the western Pacific during mid- and late September.

We still think that the second half of October will bring periods of milder weather, but we are also concerned that the early October pattern will continue to show up at times during the second half of the month.

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So, for now our forecast is for near normal temperatures during the second half of October for the eastern half of the country with warmer than normal temperatures continuing to dominate across the Prairies. We also expect that B.C. will see a transition to a more typical mid-fall pattern both in terms of temperatures and the beginning of the rainy season.

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Temp Pattern Second Half October 2022

This time of year is famous for its fall storms, but the anticipated pattern is not conducive to an active storm track across most of Canada. While a high-impact storm is still possible, we expect that most of the country between the Rockies and Atlantic Canada will see below normal precipitation totals during October.

However, we will continue to keep a close eye on the tropics. It has been a devastating hurricane season for Atlantic Canada and the southeastern U.S. The hurricane season officially runs through the end of November.

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