NEWS
08/30/2019 06:54 EDT | Updated 08/30/2019 07:12 EDT

Canada Could See More Wildfires This Fall Thanks To Warm Weather

A forecast calls for dryness out West, wetter conditions in Ontario.

Accuweather
This map shows the fall weather forecast highlights from Accuweather for Canada this year. A wet, humid and warm autumn could be in store for Ontario and Quebec.

Labour Day is fast approaching, and Canadians know what that means — summer is coming to an end.

But that doesn’t mean you have to put away your T-shirts just yet. 

Accuweather recently released its fall weather forecast for Canada, and it includes some good news for those who enjoy warm weather. 

But there could also be some implications, especially in the coming weeks.

After a relatively calm wildfire season, the conditions are ripe for that to change, Accuweather senior meteorologist Brett Anderson told HuffPost Canada.

“We do feel temperatures are going to be above normal across much of Western Canada for the first half of fall, and drier than normal, especially southern B.C. and southern Alberta,” Anderson said. 

“I would not be surprised if we see an uptick— a brief uptick, at that — in fire activity during the month of September.” 

If wildfires do break out, a jet stream could carry smoke across parts of B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, the meteorologist said.

A slower start to the snow season is expected across the southern Rockies and into southern Saskatchewan. 

“Confidence is actually quite high that it is going to be a fairly mild fall throughout the West,” Anderson said. “I do think we’re going to see some cooler shots across the eastern Prairies.”

Further east, more moisture is expected to come up from the southwest. But for the most part, the West Coast and Prairies are poised to see a mostly warm and dry autumn season.

The forecast looks slightly different for central Canada.

“I am actually going for a wetter fall across a good chunk of Ontario into at least northern Quebec,” the weather expert said.

Watch: Here’s how it looked when wildfire smoke blanketed Alberta. Story continues below. 

 

A combination of a storm track from the southwest, plenty of Colorado low pressure patterns and warmer-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes means Ontario and Quebec are on track to see relatively warm temperatures.

“I do think it’s going to be a fairly mild fall across those regions,” he said, “There will be bouts of rainfall, as well, and lots of cloud cover.”

The closer you are to the Great Lakes, the more likely you are to experience warmer conditions, and the humidity is probably going to be higher than usual, Anderson said. But watch out for an uptick in thunderstorms and waterspouts. 

Snow is slated to fall around mid to late October in the Greater Toronto Area, and potentially as early as late September for northern parts of Ontario.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Smoke from wildfires fills the air in British Columbia's Kootenay National Park on Aug. 25, 2018. The conditions are ripe for a spike in fires this fall, Accuweather says.

Atlantic Canada will likely benefit from the same systems as Ontario and Quebec, setting the stage for a “fairly mild fall season.” 

The Maritimes should also expect to see dry conditions with pockets of warm, humid air making its way across the Atlantic region, according to the meteorologist.

“We could see some tropical activity impacting parts of Newfoundland during September into early October,” Anderson said. “The door is open for tropical moisture.”

On average, a tropical storm or hurricane hits the Maritimes every three years, and the meteorologist said the region is “probably overdue for one.” And because waters are warmer this year, any systems that surface from the south are more capable of maintaining their strength by feeding on that warmth. 

Overall, the days of summer may not feel so distant in the next two months.  Keep an eye out for tropical activity in the East, and watch for wildfires in the West. And depending on where you are in central Canada, you may want to keep an umbrella handy.