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More Winter Weather on the Horizon?

Even though the days are getting longer and the sun’s rays are getting stronger, winter is still only half over. We have a month and a half left in meteorological winter, although we all know that winter weather can continue much longer than that. (I’m looking at you, Calgary).


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So what can we expect for the next few weeks?

Eastern Canada has already had their taste of mild temperatures, and now it’s Western Canada’s turn. A large blocking ridge is building in the jet stream, and will remain anchored over the west into late January. We may see a brief break-down in the ridge this weekend, but the long-range computer model ensembles indicate that the ridge will build back in next week.

GFS 500-hPa heights and vorticity for Friday evening. Pattern is highly amplified with a large ridge in the west and a deep trough in the east. (NCEP/NWS/NOAA)]

GFS 500-hPa heights and vorticity for Friday evening. Pattern is highly amplified with a large ridge in the west and a deep trough in the east. (NCEP/NWS/NOAA)]

This ridge will bring above seasonal temperatures and an extended dry stretch to much of western Canada. Edmonton, whose average daytime high is around -8 degrees, will see highs near or above zero right into next week.

NAEFS ensemble meteogram for Edmonton International Airport (YEG). (Environment Canada)

NAEFS ensemble meteogram for Edmonton International Airport (YEG). (Environment Canada)

While the ridge remains in place over the west, a large trough will become anchored over Hudson Bay. Central and eastern Canada will become cooler and unsettled, as several low pressure systems dive south towards the Great Lakes and up along the East Coast.

This pattern looks to hold through late January.

NAEFS temperatures probabilities for late January. (Environment Canada)

NAEFS temperatures probabilities for late January. (Environment Canada)


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