The future of Canadians being asked to stay at home as much as possible is still unknown, but as different regions battle different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlook for summer weather across the country is expected to be equally as varied.
According to AccuWeather, much of the west is expected to be hot and dry, while significant storms head for Ontario and people in the Maritimes can prepare for a “pleasant” summer this year.
British Columbia, Alberta and the Prairies
So far, the wildfire season has been off to a slow start but higher than normal temperatures and low precipitation this summer could become increasingly problematic.
“A hotter, drier summer in the west, that’s probably going to lead to...more fires, more smoke, during the summertime into the early fall,” Brett Anderson, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather told Yahoo Canada. “We’ll really have a good clue probably sometime in June what the fire season is going to look like.”
AccuWeather is forecasting the Prairies will be drier and warmer than normal this summer as well, with concerns about “expanding drought” conditions that are particularly problematic for farmers.
“The ground is dry in Saskatchewan especially and southeastern Alberta,” Anderson said. “What I’m afraid of is that there are pockets of drought already, that may expand and we may be getting into a severe drought situation.”
While the west manages dry conditions, Ontario’s summer will be on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of precipitation.
AccuWeather is predicting much of the province will see the stormiest summer in Canada this year, particularly around the Great Lakes region. This will also bring more humidity than usual to the area.
“I think we’ll see a lot of thunderstorms, increased threat of severe weather including tornadoes during the course of the summer,” Anderson said. “That’s going to keep the heat down during the day but the night is probably going to be warm and muggy.”
AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist added that water lake levels in Ontario remain near record highs, which means there is an increased threat for immediate lakeshore flooding this summer.
People living in the Maritimes will likely be particularly compelled to get outside this summer with the region expected to have the best seasonal weather.
“I think it looks warmer than usual up in that area,...it doesn’t get that hot up there, so it looks fairly pleasant up across Atlantic Canada,” Anderson said. “Below normal precipitation across a good part of Atlantic Canada.”
Warmer temperatures shouldn’t be too extreme throughout much of the region but there is a threat of an active hurricane season. Although there are concerns for when the tropical season starts heating up, AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist said it is too early to predict the frequency of any storm activity in the Maritimes.
“It’s a little bit too early to tell if there’s going to be any threats across Atlantic Canada in terms of tropical activity but we are predicting an active hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year,” Anderson said. “That does increase the risk of seeing something coming up into that area late this summer into the early fall.”
Quebec is expected to be less stormy than Ontario but will be hotter than most Atlantic provinces., which may make anyone working from home without air conditioning this summer a bit uncomfortable, even around the Montreal region.
The area to keep an eye on is in the northern part of Quebec, which will likely see some fires later in the summer season.
“I would not be surprised if by late summer we get into a significant fire threat there as well,” Anderson said. “It might get worse than usual.”