Summer weather for Canada thanks to La Niña

summer weather

La Niña has finally ended after being the dominant driver of our seasonal weather patterns for the past 3 years. The global pattern is now making a dramatic reversal towards a moderate, possibly strong, El Niño event. What does La Niña finishing mean for the upcoming summer weather?

According to The Weather Network’s Summer Forecast for the months of June, July, and August, we can expect a “come and go” summer across Canada with periods of hot and dry weather that will be broken up by shots of cooler and unsettled weather. 

Summer forecast 2023 temperature (CNW Group/Pelmorex Corp.)

“The global pattern is in a state of upheaval as we are seeing a rapid transition from an exceptionally persistent La Niña event to what appears to be a rather significant El Niño event,” said Chris Scott, Chief Meteorologist with The Weather Network. “Therefore, our weather pattern this summer should be different from the past few summers with more changeable conditions. Overall, a cooler summer is expected, especially across the eastern half of Canada. However, we will still see some lingering effects from La Niña with periods of hot weather, especially across western Canada.”

Drought is a concern in some areas this summer since the dominant storm track is expected to be primarily south of the international border. However, the changeable pattern should result in stormy conditions at times and reduce the risk for widespread persistent drought conditions once we get into the heart of summer.

Below is a more detailed look at the conditions expected across Canada this summer:

  • Ontario & Quebec – A changeable summer is expected as the heat will lack commitment. We will see periods of hot weather, but the heat will frequently be interrupted by periods of cooler weather. As a result, we expect fewer days with 30 degree temperatures than we have seen during many recent summers. Below normal rainfall totals are expected across most of northern Ontario, while southern parts of the region should see near normal or slightly above normal rain totals.
  • British Columbia – A very warm summer is expected, but we do not anticipate that the heat will be as relentless as what we have seen during many recent summers. The heat should break at times with a few periods of cooler and unsettled weather. While the risk of wildfires will continue to be a major concern, we are cautiously optimistic that in the heart of the summer we will see some much needed rain.
  • The Prairies – A very warm summer is expected across the Prairies, especially across western parts of the region. However, strong cold fronts will bring periods of cooler weather at times, especially across eastern parts of the region. While drought and wildfire smoke will continue to be a concern, we are cautiously optimistic that we will see some significant rain (and thunderstorms) at times during the heart of the season. 
  • Atlantic Canada – A seasonal summer is expected across most of Atlantic Canada, but southern parts of the region could tip to slightly warmer than normal temperatures, primarily due to milder nights. Periods of dry weather are likely, but a stormy pattern at times should result in near normal or above normal rainfall totals. We will also keep a close eye on the tropics. While a less active hurricane season is expected, we still have a risk for significant impacts from a tropical system or two. 
  • Northern Canada – Warmer than normal temperatures are expected across western parts of the region, while a cooler summer is expected across eastern parts of the region. A dry summer is also expected across this region, especially west of Hudson Bay. However, the greatest concern for wildfires is across western parts of the region where temperatures will be much warmer.
 The Weather Network: Summer 2023 Forecast 
RegionTemperature OutlookPrecipitation Outlook
British ColumbiaAbove normal; Near normal central and northern coastNear normal; Above normal northwest and parts of southern interior
AlbertaAbove normalNear normal
SaskatchewanAbove normal west; Near normal eastNear normal south; Below normal north
ManitobaNear normal west and central; Below normal far east and northeastNear normal south; Below normal central and north
OntarioBelow normal; Near normal southernmost areasBelow normal north; Near normal south
QuébecBelow normal; Near normal east and southernmost areasNear normal; Below normal northwest and above normal southernmost areas
The Maritimes and NewfoundlandNear normal central and north; Above normal southAbove normal; Near normal parts of south and far east
Yukon, Northwest Territories, NunavutAbove normal west; Below normal southeast; Near normal elsewhereNear normal; Below normal parts of southeast 

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