Summer 2023 weather forecast for Alberta, BC and beyond
You’ve heard “it’s the economy stupid” (James Carville, 1992). Well, weather is much the same. Simple… but also, not.
When booking a campsite, planning a hike, going on a multi-day bikepacking trip or paddle expedition, you want to be prepared for the weather. Of course, planning anything more than a few days out the weather is always a bit of a gamble.
But with some idea of what’s ahead you can plan to make the best of the season, and that’s where our summer weather forecast comes in.
Summer 2023 long-range weather forecast for AB, BC
Weather forecasts, especially long range ones, can be hit and miss. But there are some trustworthy go-tos.
With an 80% success rate over 200 years the Farmer's Almanac is considerably more hit than miss.
And then there’s the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) factor. La Niña sashayed out of Western Canada in March, and climate scientists are now predicting a 60 - 80% chance we’ll be swinging into an El Niño pattern for the Western Hemisphere between now and late summer.
WATCH: NOAA ocean temperature monitoring, March 2023
There’s your cocktail trivia tidbit for the season! In simple terms, El Niño typically means hotter weather ahead.
Drawing on those observations, we’ve put together a general outlook on summer weather for 2023 in Alberta, BC and beyond. Read on!
* All forecasts sourced from the Farmer's Almanac
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Alberta summer weather 2023 (zone 4)
Alberta weather for summer 2023 is going to look very similar to 2022, but a little warmer than normal. Below normal rain is forecast for the eastern Prairies, while the west is expected to get more than average.
Quick take: get in those hikes and paddles but bring the rain jacket and watch the skies, especially at higher altitudes where conditions can change quickly.
Avg temp: 13C (2C above avg)
Precipitation: 90mm (40mm above avg)
Average temperatures, slightly above average rainfall
Cooler, wetter September but a warmer and drier October
Source: Farmer's Almanac zone 4 forecast
BC summer weather 2023 (zone 5)
Much like Alberta, BC weather for summer 2023 will follow recent trends, with the Farmer's Almanac predicting it will be warmer and wetter than the norm.
If El Niño settles in, it could mean more dramatic storms along the Pacific Coast later into summer and fall (great for storm watchers, and surfers, who are watching the ENSO closely).
Quick take: overall, beach time, waterfall hikes and adventures on the water will be just perfect for cooling off on those hot, humid BC days.
Avg temp: 12C (avg)
Precipitation: 120mm (60mm above avg north / avg south)
Warmest period from mid-July through early Aug
Warmer, wetter than usual, according to the Almanac
Source: Farmer's Almanac zone 5 forecast
Beyond the west
Okay that covers our regular hood, but let’s take a look at the ROC (rest of Canada), in case you’re traveling a little farther afield.
Northern Canada (zone 6 & 7)
For the Yukon (zone 6), a hotter and wetter than average spring and summer season is forecast, with temps and precip settling down to average by fall. Much of that rainfall will continue on into the Northwest Territories (zone 7), but temperatures are expected to be lower than usual.
Expect above normal summer temps and wetter conditions in most of Ontario (zone 3), while Quebec (zone 2) will see warmer temps early, but cooler and rainier weather into summer and fall.
On the Atlantic Coast, weather can be unpredictable at the best of times. But the Almanac predicts a slightly rainier spring, with hotter and drier conditions through summer, cooling below normal by fall. There is potential for hurricanes developing by late August.
Source: Farmer's Almanac zone 1
What it all means
There will still be lots of sunny, warm days in the West. If you’re a fairweather camper, July and August are your best bets almost across the board in Canada, but don’t leave the tarp behind.
With higher rainfall and warmer temps in the West, we could see the combination of new precipitation added to melting snowpacks cause high water levels (and possible flooding) in parts of Alberta or BC in the early season. Check local Alberta river forecasts and advisories or BC river forecasts and advisories before heading out on your paddle in May or June, or any time really (always a good idea).
That said, fingers crossed for some rain through the spring; the West needs it, and it helps suppress the threat of wildfire. So when the rain comes, grab your rain jacket and get out there anyway. At least it’s likely to be warm, thanks to El Niño.
Go for an adventure
Naturally, weather is only part of the equation. Get planning your summer adventures now, with weather factored in, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes.