Friday, February 14th 2020, 12:59 pm - The wild and historic winter-like weather that's impacted parts of the country this fall looks to provide us with hints of what the upcoming winter has in store. Millions are set for a 'classic Canadian' winter season ahead
Snow and cold have arrived early across much of Canada this fall, including several rounds of historic winter-like weather from the Rockies to the St. Lawrence Valley. Is this a preview of what is to come?
While cold weather hasn’t locked in yet, much of Canada is in for a harsh winter. Near normal or colder-than-normal temperatures are expected for most of the country. The only regions where temperatures are expected to tip to the mild side of normal are near the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines.
The map below shows our temperature forecast for the months of December, January and February. Keep in mind that every region will go through periods that will be a sharp contrast to the dominant pattern for the season.
Near normal to above normal precipitation and snowfall are expected this winter across most of Canada. The most active storm track appears to target the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canada while the driest weather compared to normal is expected to include the south coast of B.C. However, this region, including ski areas, should still receive close to normal snowfall.
A mild winter is expected along the B.C. coast and across much of northern B.C., while near normal temperatures are expected from northeastern B.C. to the southern interior. The north coast region is expected to see above average rainfall and alpine snow. For southern coastal areas, we expect fewer than normal rainy days. However, the dry pattern will break down at times with the potential to see several weeks' worth of precipitation in just 5 to 10 days. This should help the final precipitation totals approach seasonal.
RISK FOR A COUPLE 'HIGH IMPACT' SNOW EVENTS FOR SOUTH COAST
While a mild and dry forecast is not what skiers want to hear, there are reasons to remain optimistic about the ski season. The periods of active weather should coincide with the periods of cooler weather, allowing ski areas to pick-up substantial snowfall at times. Also, we do not expect the “Pineapple Express” to be a regular feature of the winter, which will help to limit the threat of excessive rain in the alpine regions.
Meanwhile, near normal to above normal snowfall and near normal temperatures are expected for the central and southern Rockies.
A long and frigid winter is expected, with the most consistent cold weather across Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Alberta will be more changeable with periods of mild weather at times, which could come close to offsetting the bouts of severe cold.