After blizzard-like snow squalls and frigid temperatures in Ontario and Quebec, a warm up is on tap for the end of this week into the weekend. December had every major city across Canada average below normal for temperatures. Because of the cold, rainfall totals were below average but snowfall totals were near or above normal. Toronto was right on point for normal snowfall amounts and about 2°C below normal for temperatures. Montreal and Ottawa were both below normal for temperatures and snowfall totals were above normal. It was certainly a wet December in Atlantic Canada. Snowfall totals were well above normal with Charlottetown and St. John’s receiving double their normal amounts.
A low pressure system moving up from the south U.S. will bring moderate rain but also warmer temperatures. After daytime highs sitting closer to -20°C, the forecast high of 5°C on Saturday will be feeling downright tropical! Current model indications suggest 15-30 mm of rain for southern Ontario and southern Quebec and 30+ mm through Atlantic Canada. Areas north of the Nickel Belt could receive 10+ cm of snow. As discussed below in the Western Canada outlook, a series of clippers will move their way across the Prairies and into eastern Canada so small rounds of snow are not out of the question next week but temperatures won’t begin to drop until later next week. By the end of next week and next weekend, temperatures will be chilly once again.
Cool and dry is a good way to describe southern British Columbia’s December and beginning of January. Victoria and Vancouver both averaged below normal for temperatures and below normal for precipitation (rain and snow combined). Rain was way below average with Vancouver International receiving about 45% of its monthly average rainfall for December and Victoria receiving about 30% of its December average rainfall. Snowfall was close to average with Victoria receiving about 13 cm and Vancouver receiving 12 cm (the majority of which was from one storm system).
Cold and snowy would be an appropriate way to describe Alberta’s weather in December with temperatures averaging 3°C below normal and snowfall amounts about triple the climatological norm for December. Saskatchewan and Manitoba weren’t particularly snowy in December but temperatures, once again, averaged well below normal.
The next couple of weeks offer a variety of weather for western Canada with a stormier pattern returning to the west coast now through the weekend. A more zonal (or flat) pattern in the jet stream will help steer low pressure systems into the B.C. coast right through to mid-next week with rain (or snow in interior British Columbia) almost every day until the end of next week.
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