‘Alarming’ ocean temperatures likely to result in warm fall for Lower Mainland

Warm ocean temperatures will likely influence fall weather, Environment Canada meteorologist says

The Lower Mainland is expected to experience a warm fall thanks to “alarming” water temperatures in the northern Pacific Ocean.

“The fall should be warmer than normal,” Matt MacDonald, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, told The News.

With no La Nina or El Nino impacting the weather, it’s tricky to determine exactly which way the weather will go, MacDonald said. But the one thing weather watchers do know is that the Pacific Ocean is much warmer than normal, and that tends to influence life on land.

“We’re talking about a significant amount of heat in the ocean,” MacDonald said. It’s not the first time meteorologists have predicted warm weather based on water temperatures. In the past meteorologists have referred to a three-thousand-square-kilometre “blob” of warm water in the ocean that settle along the coast and keep the region relatively balmy. But that’s not the case this year.

There is no blob this year. Instead, MacDonald said, “it’s really the entirety of the northeastern Pacific.”

“It’s quite an alarming mass of warm water we’re seeing this fall,” he said. “When we look at historical records, this really stands out.”

It’s cause for concern, he said, because of the context it occurs him, with record low sea ice levels recorded and increasing atmospheric temperatures.

RELATED: If you think this summer was cooler than normal, you’re W-R-O-N-G

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