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Weather forecaster calls for warm, dry fall

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Accuweather's fall forecast map for Canada.

Stay tuned for more of the same in Calgary.

AccuWeather released its fall forecast for Canada on Wednesday and the signs point to a warm and dry autumn in southern Alberta.

This means there’s unlikely to be a Snowtember repeat, although AccuWeather senior meteorologist Brett Anderson said those freak events can’t be predicted in a long-term forecast.

“Odds are against it,” Anderson said.

“You never know, of course, but I’d say at this point the pattern would argue against it.”

The warmth, around 1 or 2 degrees above normal for most of the fall in southern Alberta, and up to 2 or 3 degrees warmer than usual in the mountains, is partly the result of El Nino weather patterns and the blob of warm water in the Pacific.

El Nino can break up the jet stream across North America, causing it to split in two, said Anderson. This pushes the southern end of the stream, which is warmer and wetter, further south and pushes the colder northern end further north. Calgary will be in the middle of these zones.

“Normally in a winter time we have one jet stream and that fluctuates. North of the jet stream it gets cold and south of the jet stream it’s warm and right along the jet stream it’s stormy, you get rain and snow and whatnot,” Anderson said.

“During El Nino, the jet stream splits into two so what happens is the southern side of the jet stream, that’s where all the rain, the big storms are, the northern side of the jet stream that shifts farther north … that keeps all the cold air farther north … so that kind of leaves Western Canada out of the cold and also out of the storminess.”

AccuWeather predicts the first frost will likely be later than normal this year in Alberta, and the ski season will also be shortened due to lack of snow in the late fall. The forecast covers September to November, which is the month expected to have the highest above average temperatures in southern Alberta, closer to 2 or 3 degrees above normal.

Erin Sylvester, Calgary Herald

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