A look at the long-range forecasts for the season
By Tania Arora, Staff Reporter
After a wet and gloomy fall and record-breaking snowfall in February, the many ups and downs of spring are giving way to a long, hot BC summer. While this might be good news for beachgoers, it could spell disaster thanks to our upcoming wildfire season.
The temperature is predicted to be above average this year in British Columbia, with hot and dry conditions predicted clear across from the coast to the prairies. The situation however is different in other regions. According to AccuWeather, Atlantic Canada could experience warm and dry conditions, while Ontario and Quebec might see a cooler, wetter summer than the rest of the country. This could increase risks of flooding and thunderstorms in the region but will save them from conditions such as the deadly heat wave Quebec experienced last year.
“Last summer was a deadly one [for Quebec],” said Weather Network chief meteorologist Chris Scott, according to the CBC. “We don’t expect this summer to be as hot.”
The same AccuWeather report predicts that the west could experience record-breaking levels of heat and drought through BC and all the way up to the Yukon. This could cause an early start to the wildfire season—which doesn’t just burn down trees and forests but also has far-reaching and much worse impacts. AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said, “This [pattern] is likely to lead to an active wildfire season in this region, with a higher probability of large fires that burn tremendous amounts of land area.”
BC residents are already experiencing hazy skies from Alberta’s current wildfire battles. The Weather Network cautions that “Smoke from wildfires to the west and northwest will likely become an issue during the summer, meaning more hazy days and concerns for anyone with respiratory issues.” Few can forget the orange, ashy skies from last year, and it’s looking like we’re set to experience many of the same conditions over the next few months.
As for Alberta, the Weather Network reported that while the province could see some temperature swings throughout the summer, the region is likely to experience the same warming trends affecting the west on the whole.
As the effects of climate change continue to make themselves known through rising temperatures and increased risks of natural disasters such as wildfires, droughts, floods, and storms, the one thing Canadians can predict is that this summer is set to see some extremes.