Western Canada is in for a warmer than normal summer, according to the long term outlook just released by Accuweather.com.
"What we're looking at currently, in terms of surface observations, general patterns across North America and the northern hemisphere, all suggest a very warm to hot summer across the prairies," says senior meteorologist Brett Anderson.
He says patterns this spring are similar to those seen in 2006.
"2006 was a very warm summer. It was the fifth warmest summer on record on the prairies," he says. "I'm very confident that this summer will end up in the top five in terms of warm temperatures for Canada as a whole, and I'm confident it will be in the top seven for the prairies specifically. All the signals are there."
He says precipitation levels in the eastern prairies will be slightly below normal, with most of the rain coming in early summer.
"It's tougher to forecast because most of the rainfall we get comes in thunderstorms, which is highly variable...but based on analogues and the position of the high pressure system - which is further north than it was last year, which should push the jetstream further north than normal, and also the storm track - we believe we're looking at drier conditions," says Anderson.
Based on the location of the storm track, he says there will likely be fewer thunderstorms than normal across the southern prairies.
"I think it will be more stable than normal, thanks to the high pressure system, especially across the western prairies. Typically we see thunderstorms billowing up later in the afternoon into the evening during the summer. I think there will be less of that than normal this summer," he says.
"If we had to pick a month where there could be near or above normal rainfall, we'd probably be looking at June. Signs point to July and August being drier," says Anderson.
~ Friday, May 18, 2012 ~