Canada headed for unusually warm fall that may feel ‘more like summer,’ experts say

Click to play video: 'What you need know about B.C.’s up coming weather season'
What you need know about B.C.’s up coming weather season
WATCH: What you need to know about B.C.'s upcoming weather season – Sep 14, 2021

September is underway, but experts say Canada’s start to its fall season — particularly in Eastern regions — could feel more like summer.

Those warm-weather temperatures are between 5C and 8C above normal and could linger well into October, according to Anthony Farnell, Global News’ Chief Meteorologist.

Farnell said major cities such as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax have been retaining temperatures of close to 20C, and those are expected to climb to the mid-and-upper twenties until the end of the month.

“When you have late September highs of about 28 degrees in Toronto, that becomes rather unusual,” he said.

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However, in Western provinces like British Columbia, there’s been more of a reversal in temperature.

B.C. over the last few months has seen unprecedented and severe heatwaves that shattered records and killed hundreds.

Alberta also suffered through a heatwave this summer as recorded temperatures reached 30C or higher and smoky air quality remained for almost three weeks in August.

“We now have cooler conditions in B.C. and into Alberta,” said Farnell.

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Extreme weather events set to become more frequent in the face of climate change

Temperatures recently, on average, sit at about 15C and 18C in B.C. and Alberta.

“(But there’s) all sorts of warmth and even humidity that’s going to linger likely into October for areas around the Great Lakes, Quebec and into Atlantic Canada as well,” he said.

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It’s a tough call to determine whether climate change is behind the latest round of increasing temperatures.

On the one hand, scientists say there is a “clear link” between climate change and extreme weather.

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that warned the whole world — and with it, Canada — was on track for more devastating wildfires, smouldering heat waves and other extreme weather events if climate change was not reversed.

Read more: B.C.’s third heat wave of the summer will peak Friday and last until Sunday

But Farnell said the East Coast has naturally warmer waters, adding that parts of Canada including Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic has been in a hotter September cycle for the last 15 years.

“It’s almost like the seasons have shifted a little bit where we’re now getting nicer weather in September and early October and then maybe more clouds, showers and cooler conditions for April and early May,” he said, noting that Canada may also be in for an earlier winter.

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Millions of marine life boil on shores of Western Canada amid record-breaking heatwave

Gerald Cheng, a warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, said it was difficult to predict if the rise in temperatures will last into later months, but he agreed with Farnell that September “is going to be above normal.”

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“It is less clear as we look into October and even farther ahead into November, the signal coming back is that it is going to be above normal, but there’s less confidence,” Cheng said.

— With files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore

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