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Back-to-school: Summer heat lingers

It's time to head back-to-school, are you ready for the new year?
It's time to head back-to-school, are you ready for the new year?

Staff writers

September 4, 2012 — Back-to-school may be a sign of the summer season coming to an end, but meteorologists at The Weather Network say, the heat will linger well into the fall.

Be sure to go over a transportation plan
Be sure to go over a transportation plan

The time has come for students across the country to head back to school. And while it's a sign that the summer season is ending, most Canadians can expect to see above normal temperatures to continue through October.

"The afterglow of a scorching summer will mean a warm start to the season," says Chris Scott, Director of Meteorology at The Weather Network.

A look back at summer:

"It's a fair assumption that Canada has experienced (on average) a dry and hot summer," says Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

For many Canadians, the summer of 2012 will definitely go down in the record books.

"July 2012 globally is the fourth warmest July on record. In Ontario, the July temperature was as much as 3.5C above average," says Vettese. "Southern Ontario experienced several heat waves this year too."

Low to record dry precipitation totals were also reported from southern and central Ontario to the Atlantic provinces and southern Manitoba as well.

"In Western Canada, including British Columbia and the majority of the Prairies, it was actually fairly average in terms of precipitation compared to historical distribution," says Vettese. "One of the reasons for the great variation across the country is due to the fact that the precipitation came from thunderstorms rather than large scale, synoptic events."

A hot and dry summer does not necessarily dictate a warm and dry winter however.

"As November approaches, conditions will become stormier, which is normal as winter nears," says Scott.

Fall, a transitional season:

"During fall, the atmosphere is attempting to balance itself into winter mode so there are a lot of ups and downs with temperatures as well as precipitation patterns," explains Vettese.

As a result, students and parents should be prepared for the temperature swings when heading back-to-school.

  • Dress for the weather: Experts suggest stocking up on lighter summer clothes, which can be used to layer while temperatures remain warm. That will help students remain comfortable as they move from air conditioned classrooms to the heat outdoors.
  • Go over a transportation plan: Whether it's by foot, bike, car or bus, safety is always a concern when travelling to and from school. It's helpful to have a plan in place, along with contact information incase of an emergency. To also limit time spent at the bus stop, be sure to check the bus schedule for drop-off and pick-up times.
  • Stay active: As the weather begins to cool down, health officials say it's important to resist the urge to hibernate. Aside from physical activities at school, families can make fall yard work fun. While outdoors, remember to apply sunscreen and insect repellent.

Starting at 6 am ET on Tuesday, September 4, The Weather Network will be LIVE on location for the first day back to school. Be sure to tune into the Toronto Regional show on TV as we speak with parents, teachers and students at San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic School in Markham, Ontario.

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