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'This will be a warm one': Hotter than usual summer in Ontario could start with Father’s Day weekend

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Environment and Climate Change Canada is predicting a steamier-than-normal summer because of climate change, despite a slightly cooler start.

"We think that this will be a warm one. And we certainly see a change coming," Environment Canada Senior Climatologist Dave Phillips told CP24 in an interview Wednesday.

While this summer has started off a bit cooler, that may soon change, Phillips said.

"We've been stuck in this rut with lots of precipitation, unsettled weather, a lot of cloud," Phillips said. "June has been maybe a degree cooler than normal but we think that's going to change with a great Father's Day weekend coming up."

Toronto is expected to see a high of 24 C and lots of sunshine Saturday, followed by cloudy weather and a high of 28 C for Father’s Day Sunday.  

Then on Monday, the high goes up to a steamy 32 C, followed by a high of 33 C on Tuesday. It will feel closer to 40 with the humidity on both days.

"So we're gonna maybe have a little bit of a mini heatwave next weekend and we think that is going to be the flavour and the personality of the kind of summer ahead," Phillips said. "Not every day. Not every week, but we think that the real pattern looks like it's going to be warmer than normal and I dare say it may very well be warmer than it was last year."

He noted as well that so far this year, Toronto has not seen the sort of haze which descended on the city because of forest fires last year.

A women paddle boards along Lake Ontario in the extreme heat in Toronto on Friday, July 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Phillips also noted that while it's difficult to predict how much precipitation there will be in a summer, Toronto has already seen 40 per cent more rain than normal in April, May and June.

"And so my gosh, grass and vegetation has never been greener. Farmers are happy and I can almost taste those Ontario strawberries."

Toronto only saw eight days where the temperature was above 30 C last year, compared to a usual average of 16 days.

"So I think there's going to be far more of those," Phillips said.

Experts at Environment and Climate Change Canada are predicting higher-than-normal temperatures throughout most of Canada this summer, aside from coastal B.C.

"Climate change is affecting Canadians’ health, safety, and quality of life. We are already facing record-breaking climate conditions, with wildfires and extreme heat becoming more frequent," the agency said in its summer outlook this week.

The agency noted that spring has already brought drought conditions and wildfires to British Columbia and Alberta. It is predicting lower than normal precipitation across the most of Canada throughout the summer as well.

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