Canada will see ‘weather whiplash’ into winter as temperatures, precipitation forecast swing between extremes

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Condo towers dot the Toronto skyline as pedestrians make their way through the snow on Jan.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

One of Canada’s most high-profile weather forecasters says the severe storms that have hit parts of the country over the past month could be a sign of what lies ahead for the coming winter.


Chris Scott, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network, says colder water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, known as La Nia conditions, often cause drastic changes in southern Canada.

Mr Scott says the result will sometimes feel like a “weather hit” this winter as temperatures and precipitation levels swing between extremes throughout the season.

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He says British Columbia and large parts of the Prairie provinces are on tap to see above-average rainfall and cooler-than-average temperatures, thanks to the recent torrential rains that caused widespread flooding in B.C. gives a clear example.

Forecasts call for higher-than-normal rainfall but colder temperatures will result in heavy snowfall, especially at higher altitudes, resulting in an extended ski season. BC

A snowy winter is expected in the southern half of Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, while moderate snowfall is forecast elsewhere.

Mr Scott says the battle between seasonal fluctuations will play out most dramatically in Quebec and Ontario, where above-average rainfall is expected between temperatures that are below normal in the northwestern regions and average in the more southern regions. More than.

Stormy winter weather, especially in the southern regions, will be followed by extended periods of mild weather with a mix of lots of snow, ice, and rain. The winter season will come soon but there will be no severe cold in the middle of the season.

“While we expect more snow than usual, I would not live up to your expectations for a great ski season in Southern Ontario because there will be times when we get a good amount of snow but then it is going to come and go in winter. , where it sometimes seems that winter is over with a blast of warm weather for a few weeks,” Mr Scott said in a telephone interview.

More major storms could be seen in Atlantic provinces such as the recent Newfoundland and Labrador as well as parts of Nova Scotia, but Mr Scott said this winter has seen largely normal snowfall and some below seasonal norms. Hoping to come up to the limit.

Mr Scott is also forecasting above average temperatures for Nunavut, while long-range forecasts for the Yukon and the Northwest Territories forecast overall cooler conditions with below-normal rainfall.

“When we get a La Nia weather pattern, we get a very stormy setup with the jet stream over North America and southern Canada,” Mr Scott said. “Since we’re on the jet stream, we get a lot of fluctuations in our temperatures. And so we’re going to get this whiplash effect, where we swing back and forth over the next three months.”

Mr Scott said forecasting above-average rainfall levels for much of the country isn’t bad news for areas already hit by floods, noting that much of it could turn to snow when really chilly temperatures set in. it happens.

While La Nia patterns are far from novel, Mr Scott said recent bouts of extreme weather have washed away significant pieces of infrastructure and even identified widespread climate change as the cause of many deaths in British Columbia. Is.

They compared the consequences of rising global temperatures to a pair of dice that have been finely weighted to account for more or less certain weather events.

“So what happens is that you’re rolling the dice, and each die has a slightly different weight. And so the probability of a heavy rainfall event or a heat wave coming is higher than it was 50 years ago,” he said.

At the same time, the chances of getting cold are a little less. So it’s not that we can’t get some things or that we get some things because of climate change. It all comes down to constraints and risk. ,

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Granthshala editors, giving you a brief summary of the day’s most important headlines. ,


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