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Cueillette de citrouilles / Pumpkin patch
Photograph: Kylie Paz / Unsplash

Here's why it's been so warm this fall in Montreal, and when you can expect it to end

It's been unseasonably warm in Quebec and around Montreal this fall, but is it all that unusual for this time of year?

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Fall in Montreal is supposed to be a time of PSL lattes, brisk winds and bright colours on trees, and taking those up-close selfies where your mascara'd face is nuzzled halfway into a thick scarf, right? So why isn't the weather and temperatures matching up with that right now across Quebec and the rest of Central Canada?

"It's been unseasonably warm, especially for the north part of Ontario and the eastern part of Manitoba. That's where we've had the warmest temperature so far since the beginning of October," says Jean-Philippe Bégin, meteorologist for Environment Canada.

"But October isn't over yet, and cold air is coming pretty quick, and it will be affecting the Quebec area as early as Saturday," he added.

That said, sweater weather is in fact coming, but not until after this coming weekend, and even if warm spells come back around? They'll be increasingly farther and fewer between as winter approaches.

It's due to the position of the jet stream—a corridor of strong winds that delivers cold air to the Poles and warm air to the equator—which has favoured warm spells from the southern United States. It happens every now and then. "In fact, in 2017, it was warmer than it has been right now," Bégin adds, "and it's been colder than usual in British Columbia and Alberta as well."

So, whenever a warmer autumn like this happens, it's a shift of the jet stream further to the east than usual. It's not totally out of the ordinary as far as meteorologists like Bégin can tell, but more data down the road may reveal different upcoming trends.

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