VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC may be enduring higher temperatures and hundreds of fires now, but we may be a little late to the weather party.

Much of North America has been baking and burning all summer.

UBC climate scientist Simon Donner says the US just endured the warmest July on record and one of the driest — a dangerous combination that has sparked massive fires and droughts.

On one side of the continent, it’s hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean. But Donner says El Nino in the Pacific Ocean can have a significant effect on East Coast storms.

“When an El Nino event happens, which is something happening in the Pacific Ocean, it affects the movement of air in the atmosphere in a way that can, kind of, deflect or stop the generation of hurricanes a little bit in the Atlantic,” Donner says.

“Because El Nino conditions are starting in the Pacific, we had been expecting not that many hurricanes, and particularly not that many to actually reach the continent this year,” he adds. “But there seems to be quite a few developing right now. One that’s threatening to go through the Caribbean and Florida.”

Meanwhile, more than 200 fires are burning across BC, although many are small and caused by lightning.