The first day of fall arrived in Red Deer with plenty of sunshine and warmth — which is exactly what’s predicted for the autumn season in Central Alberta.
Balmier-than-average temperatures are shaping up for this week and are expected for next week, fitting Environment Canada’s seasonal forecast for the next couple of months, said Kyle Fougere, meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada.
This region had the third hottest August in recorded history, he added, and fall 2022 is expected to benefit from the warmer-than-normal conditions.
The national weather service considers all of September, October and November to be autumnal months in Canada. It doesn’t go by the calendar, which marks the summer-to-fall transition officially happening with the Sept. 22 equinox.
Everybody knows it’s bound to get colder as September turns into October and then November. But so far, cold air from the Arctic so far simply hasn’t been given a chance to descend, said Fougere.
“We have a persistent ridge of high pressure that’s keeping those clear skies and hot temperatures over Western North America.”
Thursday’s high was expected to hit 20 Celsius — four degrees warmer than the usual high for this time of year. After dropping to a forecasted 19 C for Friday and Saturday, temperatures are expected to rise to 22 C on Sunday and a summer-like 26 C for the first half of next week.
To predict weather conditions for a whole season, meteorologists have to look for various determinants, including whether there are El Nino (warming) or La Nina (cooling) oceanic systems at play, said Fougere. So far, Environment and Climate Change Canada is not seeing anything on the horizon to indicate that either drought or deluge lays ahead, so normal precipitation is predicted to the end of November, he added.
The Red Deer area generally averages 87 mm of rainfall from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. A negligible amount of rain has fallen in the first half of this month, so September seems to bring a continuation of the drying trend of late summer.
Fougere noted an unexpected storm can brew up and dumps a lot of rain or snow. “With precipitation, longer range prediction can get more difficult… one storm can really set the tone for the three-month period as you could almost hit your normal for the season in a couple of days.”
For Red Deer area residents who wonder about watering in plants for the winter, Fougere said the current dry conditions and Tuesday’s frosty overnight low of -2.2 C, could make it timely to turn the hose on perennials, trees and bushes.