Brett Anderson

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The Summer Outlook for Canada

May 20, 2013; 2:44 PM ET

Canada as a whole will experience a more typical summer weather regime in 2013, especially compared to the record-setting, warm summer that occurred in 2012. However, we still expect the summer of 2013 to end up ranking in the top-10 warmest summers as the far north continues to experience well above-normal temperatures. expects a cooler and wetter summer compared to normal across a large portion of the Prairies and into northern Ontario, especially in the first half of the season.

Drier conditions relative to normal are anticipated this summer from southeastern British Columbia through southern Alberta and into southwestern Saskatchewan as strong high pressure will extend north through the Rockies on many occasions. Much of southeastern Alberta through southwestern Saskatchewan has been unusually wet so far this growing season.

Warm and dry conditions will dominate in the east, especially during the second half of the summer from southern Quebec and into the western Maritimes. Places such as Montreal, Quebec and Quebec City could get abnormally dry once again during July and August.

A typical summer can be expected across most of southern Ontario, including Toronto, with a fair share of limited hot spells, but a constant supply of quick-moving fronts will bring brief storms and welcome cooldowns.

The summer of 2013 will be warmer than average for much of Atlantic Canada with near-normal rainfall for most, including Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Summer 2013 temperature outlook

Summer 2013 precipitation outlook

Severe Weather

A higher-than-normal amount of severe thunderstorms is predicted this summer from central Alberta to southern Manitoba, especially during June and July, as building heat near the U.S. border clashes with the cooler air just to the north.

Severe weather in the form of damaging thunderstorm winds and large hail generally peaks during the month of July in the Prairies, but it is also quite common during June and August.

Lightning kills an average of 10 Canadians a year and injures between 100 and 150.

Tornadoes are most common in the Prairies followed by Ontario with an average of 60 reported twisters across the country during the season.

There has been just one documented F5-rated tornado in Canadian history. That tornado touched down in Elie, Manitoba, on June 22, 2007. No injuries or deaths were reported.

Near-Normal Tropical Cyclone Threat for Atlantic Canada predicts a higher-than-normal amount of hurricanes and tropical storms for the Atlantic Basin this season. However, the threat level for Atlantic Canada is about average for the second half of this summer. There is very little correlation between the number of storms that form in the North Atlantic and the number that make their way into Canadian waters.

Since 2000, there has been an average of one land-falling hurricane on Canadian soil every other year. Before 2000, that rate of landfall was closer to one every three years. Keep in mind though, these tropical cyclones can expand their strong wind field greatly as they move into these northern waters, so even if the center does not make landfall, there can still be significant impacts well out away from the storm center.

Summer Trends

Overall, Canadian summers are getting warmer and we have seen an increase of 1.4 C. since records began in 1948. Image courtesy of Environment Canada.

Canadian summers are also trending slightly wetter and we expect this summer to continue this recent pattern. Image courtesy of Environment Canada.


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About This Blog

Brett Anderson
Brett Anderson covers both short-term and long-term weather and storm forecasts for Canada in this blog for