POLITICS
09/09/2014 06:01 EDT | Updated 11/09/2014 05:59 EST

Summer trends set stage for fall forecast, Weather Network says

TORONTO - One of Canada's most prominent forecasters says weather watchers need only look back at the summer to see what Mother Nature has in store for the fall.

The Weather Network's fall outlook says temperature and precipitation trends that took hold during the summer are likely to continue for the next few months across most of the country.

Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott says British Columbia's balmy, dry summer will likely give way to a warmer than usual fall with below-average rainfalls.

He says Prairie dwellers and Ontarians hoping for a break from an unusually chilly, soggy summer aren't expected to get much relief.

Scott expects only the Maritimes will see a departure from their summer weather trends.

The network is calling for a return of cooler air that will bring temperatures and precipitation levels back down to around seasonal norms.

Summer wore an unusual form across most of the country, Scott said, adding conventional weather trends were reversed in most cases.

The typically cool region of Goose Bay, Labrador, for instance, recorded as many days over 30 C as the frequently sizzling southern Ontario city of Windsor.

Similarly, British Columbia residents accustomed to cooler days had a chance to savour the season under unusually sunny skies.

Scott said fall looks to offer more of the same in most cases, adding that the next three months won't be without the volatile temperature shifts that have come to be synonymous with the season.

"We think that's going to be the telltale signature of this fall, as it often is ... these wild swings up and down," Scott said in a telephone interview. "But when you average everything out over those three months, it's going to still keep that same tendency to be a bit milder towards B.C., and then we still have a tendency towards coolness in the centre part of the country."

That coolness, Scott said, will likely be enhanced by what's shaping up to be the season's most active weather cells.

Scott said their models suggest some unusually stormy weather will make itself felt around the Great Lakes as well as the eastern Prairies.

Those areas can expect higher than average precipitation for the season, he said, adding Atlantic Canada also has potential for heavy rainfalls if the local hurricane season becomes more active than it has been to date.

Significant wet weather is expected to come late to British Columbia, Scott said, conceding the news may be unwelcome to ski resort owners hoping for an early start to the season.

In Toronto, where memories of a damp and nippy summer are still vivid, reception of the network's fall weather prognostications was about as warm as the forecast.

"I feel like I better take off to Mexico sooner rather than later," said Rob Primerano. "I usually wait until January but maybe I'll go sooner."

"I'm disappointed, I hate the rain," opined Alanna McPherson.

Others took a more philosophical approach.

"There's a lot of good in this world, weather should be the least of your worries, that's what I think," said Hin Jang. "I was born in Toronto so I've seen worse."

Scott cautioned the forecast could be influenced by a weak El Nino, a condition in which waters in the Pacific Ocean are slightly warmer than usual. The effects of El Nino are difficult to quantify, he said, adding they're generally felt more towards the end of the season and into the winter.

Scott said the network's fall estimates are heavily based on the patterns observed during weak El Nino seasons of the past, but said they're about as likely to change as the weather itself.

"Even though the weather pattern wants to hold onto what we saw this summer, fall is just a wildly different beast in terms of the variation you get," he said.