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Hot enough for you? Canadians brace for heat, wind and drought

Blackened tree trunks are all that remain after a wildfire swept through the area near Kenora, Ont.

Brendyn Eliuk / ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Get ready to crank up the AC and seek refuge from bursts of wild, windy weather, as one hot summer is being predicted for much of Canada.

More than two-thirds of the country is expected to be warmer than normal, from Nunavut in the North to cottage country in Ontario to the rugged Nova Scotia coast. Pretty much the only regions projected to experience below-normal temperatures are pockets of northern British Columbia and Yukon, according to AccuWeather's summer forecast, released Wednesday.

The Prairies, in particular, seem to be headed for a scorcher, raising the risk of drought and wildfires, such as the one that devastated the northern Alberta town of Slave Lake one year ago.

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"Everything is pointing towards a hot and a little bit drier-than-normal summer across the southern Prairies," said Brett Anderson, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, a private U.S. forecasting firm.

Warmer summers have increasingly become the norm in Canada. The 10 record-breaking warmest have all occurred since 1989, with six in the past decade alone (National temperature record-keeping began in 1947).

Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips cautions there is a lot of uncertainty in seasonal forecasts, particularly when it comes to predicting precipitation. However, Environment Canada's preliminary summer outlook is also pointing to warmer temperatures for most of the country.

Mr. Phillips expects most Canadians will embrace this prediction, particularly those worried we would pay for this winter – one of the warmest and driest on record.

"There's a little bit of angst among Canadians. 'Oh, oh. We've used up our IOUs,'" Mr. Phillips, a veteran weatherman, observed.

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