Weather story or question?
Morning rain came pouring down, creating puddles in downtown Victoria. Aug. 31, 2016. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Well folks, summer has just about come to an end, and I’m not referring to the abrupt change in weather. Today is actually the last day of meteorological summer.
A quick explanation:
The weather we associate with certain seasons doesn’t really match up with astronomical seasons. For example, sometimes we’ll get hot summer-like temperatures in early June, even though the start of summer is still a few weeks away. Sometimes we’ll get snow in early December, even though the astronomical calendar says winter doesn’t start until December 21 or 22. To align everything more accurately, climate scientists and meteorologists divide the year up into 3 month chunks based primarily on temperature.
Based on that, yes, summer is over. Right on cue, Mother Nature delivered some rain and cooler temperatures. This week we’ll have a couple of more days of unsettled conditions with the weather brightening up for the Labour Day long weekend.
Looking ahead, we’re transitioning into a La Niña weather pattern, which, for this part of the world means cooler and sometimes wetter conditions into the winter. The U.S National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center says “La Niña is slightly favored to develop during August - October 2016, with about a 55-60% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17.”
The seasonal outlook produced by Environment Canada was released today for September-October-November. It suggests a warmer than average few months ahead, but rainfall is around normal.
Forecasting that far in advance is a tricky game, but the trends seem to align, pushing the cooler conditions to later in the climatological fall and winter.
What you need to know
September will still have sunny, warm stretches, but don’t expect sizzling heat again. Looking back at the summer, the island actually had fairly “normal” conditions. Many of you might be thinking the opposite, however, I’d argue that our perception is skewed; we’ve been spoiled by El Nino (hotter, dryer conditions) in recent summers!
August – not including today
So make sure you know where your rain boots and fall sweaters are. Autumn, meteorologically speaking, has arrived.