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Here’s the Summer Forecast Across Canada, According to AccuWeather

Meteorologists provide a sneak peek at Canada's summer forecast, from coast to coast.

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Summer forecast - canada 2020Photo: AccuWeather

A sneak peek at Canada’s 2020 summer forecast

Canada’s summer forecast is in, and—for the most part—it’s looking good. According to AccuWeather meteorologists, most of the country has a particularly warm summer in store—something to look forward to as millions of Canadians continue to shelter in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although sunny skies and warmer-than-average temperatures may be welcome after months of self-quarantine, for some provinces, meteorologists warn that heat may arrive with risks. Expected dry conditions in the west could see B.C. and Alberta at a higher risk for wildfires, and the Prairies at risk for drought. In contrast, some eastern parts of the country may experience higher-than-average rainfall, spurring fears of potential local flooding.

Here’s the 2020 summer forecast, region by region.

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Summer forecast 2020 - British Columbia beach with sailboatPhoto: Shutterstock

Summer forecast for British Columbia, Alberta and the Prairies: Dry and warm

Despite a slow start to the fire season, conditions could rapidly change by June, warns Brett Anderson, a veteran meteorologist with AccuWeather.

“The summer may end up being unusually warm to hot across the west, especially from British Columbia to the Yukon Territory,” Anderson says. “The combination of hotter days away from the coast and near- to below-normal rainfall may be a recipe for an active fire season.” (Read the terrifying story of what it’s like to survive a fire tornado.)

That increased fire risk could lead to more difficult breathing conditions, particularly in the second half of the summer. On top of the air quality perils, below-average precipitation over the Prairies could set the scene for drought conditions to take hold.

“There is a concern for a building drought over the western half of the Prairies this summer due to a combination of dry soil and the expected weather pattern,” Anderson says.

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Summer forecast 2020 - thunderstorms in OntarioPhoto: Shutterstock

Summer forecast for Ontario: Storms are brewing

A tumultuous weather pattern may lead to a particularly stormy summer for the central part of the country, particularly over the Great Lakes region. Along with an increased amount of rain, AccuWeather predicts an above-average number of thunderstorms and incidents of severe weather this summer.

“This may end up being an above-average year for tornadoes across Ontario,” Anderson says. “Increased warmth and humidity will be factors as these will help feed the storms.” (Make sure you never do this during a thunderstorm.)

Canada, which is second only to the United States in terms of average number of tornadoes each year, had 35 tornadoes in 2019—the fewest since 2015. Since 2010, Ontario has had more than 100 total tornadoes. According to Environment Canada, 40 to 60 twisters touch down in the country each year on average.

Along the Great Lakes, higher water levels combined with locally strong winds from persistent storms may increase the risk for lakeshore flooding, Anderson says.

Check out six bizarre things that happen when it’s about to storm.

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Summer forecast 2020 - Montreal heatwavePhoto: Shutterstock

Summer forecast for Quebec and Atlantic Canada: Hot and humid

A hot and humid Quebec summer will mean air conditioning demands will be heightened across cities like Montreal, especially as residents continue to shelter in place and work from home. (These tips for cooling your home without air conditioning might come in handy.)

Similar to the western parts of the country, the increase in temperatures will also mean elevated wildfire risks for northern Quebec, particularly in the second half of the summer.

Farther east in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, temperatures will not be as extreme and, along with less humid air, should make for a pleasant summer.

Along the Atlantic coast, however, uncertainty reigns. “AccuWeather is expecting an active hurricane season in the Atlantic basin,” says Anderson. “However, it is unclear if this will lead to an increased threat of tropical storms into Atlantic Canada late this summer and into this fall.” Visit AccuWeather for more details.

Now that you know the summer forecast for 2020, find out what it was like on the coldest day in Canadian history.