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Canada's summer forecast: variable

But warmer-than-normal temps predicted

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Get ready to break out the sunscreen, Canada, but don't worry about sizzling all season.

Meteorologists at AccuWeather.com say the majority of Canadians can look forward to a more "typical" summer this year, when hot spells will be interspersed with cooler periods.

"The biggest takeaway from this forecast is it's not going to resemble last year's summer, which was the warmest summer on record for Canada," Brett Anderson, lead forecaster for Canada, told The Canadian Press.

"We're going to see much more changeable weather. Yes, we will have spells of heat, we will have spells of very dry weather, but we do not expect patterns where it's going to lock in for weeks on end of hot, dry weather."

The season is still going to rank among the top-10 warmest summers on record though, but that's largely due to recurring warmer-than-normal temperatures in the country's Far North.

'... It's not going to resemble last year's summer, which was the warmest summer on record for Canada'

-- forecaster Brett Anderson

A warmer-than-average summer predicted for much of Atlantic Canada has turned up as one of the surprises in the forecast, said Anderson.

"This summer is going to shape up to one they're going to like," he said, adding a persistent high-pressure system over the region and warmer-than-normal temperatures in the waters of the North Atlantic were expected to help keep temperatures fairly high.

"There's going to be days when it cools down. It's not going to be super-persistent, but overall I think it ends up warmer than normal."

Residents living in Montreal through to Quebec City can also expect the mercury to rise.

The high temperatures in Quebec will be a continuation of a warm, dry spring, which has resulted in less water evaporating from the ground -- a process that has a cooling effect.

Meanwhile, the weather in southern Ontario is expected to be pleasant, with hot periods broken up by what's expected to be welcome cooler days, although some thunderstorms are expected earlier in the season.

"Overall, the humidity, the temperature, is going to be fairly pleasant across much of southern Ontario this summer," said Anderson. "It looks like a comfortable summer coming up in that region."

Moving west, regions from southern Saskatchewan to southern Alberta are expected to sweat it out for much of the season.

"We're going to see some record heat there in the month of July," said Anderson. "Areas south of Calgary I think are going to see some spells of very hot weather, perhaps record-breaking temperatures."

Residents living in areas between Edmonton, Winnipeg and the U.S. border should brace for a higher-than-normal number of severe thunderstorms this summer, as well as some very warm spells.

Drier conditions are expected in much of southeastern British Columbia, while the most balanced temperatures are predicted for Vancouver and southwestern parts of the province.

The soggiest spots this summer are likely to be the northern Prairies and areas of northwestern Ontario, particularly around Lake Superior, including Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie.

Areas of the northern coast of British Columbia are also expected to get a fair amount of rainfall this summer.

Anderson said Canadian summers in general have been getting hotter over time.

"Overall, Canadian summers are getting warmer. We've seen an increase of 1.4 Celsius since records began in 1948," he said. "Canadian summers are also getting a little bit wetter... part of that reason is also the warming of the Far North."

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 21, 2013 A8

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