Expect a cold winter ahead in the east and a continued dry trend for the west, says Lerner

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Farmers on the eastern coast of Canada have barely begun to clean up from post-tropical storm Fiona, even as a new hurricane, Ian, bears down on a huge swath of Florida and eventually the Carolinas.

The devastation caused by these huge storms is taking a huge toll on livestock, still-standing crops, and fruit and vegetable harvests. But are these early fall storms an indication of what to expect for the rest of the fall and in to winter?

Drew Lerner, of World Weather Inc., doesn’t think that’s the case for most of Canada.

For the east, including Ontario and Quebec, growers can continue to expect cooler temps for the harvest season, but a move to drier weather than what’s been the trend as of late.

“We’ve had a lot of short term rain events come and go here recently. So it’s been a little slow getting the crop to dry down properly in some spots and a little bit of disruptive pattern here for field work. But as we progress deeper into the autumn season, we will see that region drying down a little bit better; it will be chilly,” Lerner says.

The cool to cold bias is likely to continue for the winter, though that could signal lower than average snow fall for the region.

Moving west, Lerner says the soggy conditions in Manitoba should dissipate, but that may not be enough to really dry the situation out.

The weather trend gets warmer and drier further west, which is perhaps not what those in parts of Saskatchewan and Alberta are hoping for.

“It just absolutely amazes me how long this has gone on…Originally, I had expected to see October getting more active. And I still think it will to some degree. But I don’t know that we’re going to be able to put enough moisture in the ground to really fix the situation, to a large degree,” Lerner says.

It’s not all bad news, as Lerner says there will be some corridors of weather flows that deliver some moisture to Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Looking ahead to the winter months, very dry weather can also translate to a quick drop to sub-zero and very low temps as there’s no moisture in the atmosphere to slow those temperatures from falling. This current warm weather is likely to change quickly to cold when it does, he says.

Perhaps the best news for those who don’t love a traditional Prairie winter is that while Ontario and Quebec will be very cold, the west may actually end up with a warmer than average winter.

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