Winter strikes back: Here's when and where the cold sets in
Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 8:16 AM - The January thaw is gone, but what a January thaw it has been across most of Canada!
The map below shows how temperatures compared, relative to normal, over the past two weeks. Much of central Canada from the Prairies to Quebec experienced temperatures 8 to 15 C above normal.
A notable exception to the exceptionally mild pattern has been Newfoundland where temperatures were near seasonal over the past two weeks. We also witnessed examples of how impactful winter weather can still occur even within a mild pattern as Atlantic Canada continues to recover from a major ice storm.
That said; winter is in the process of making a strong comeback.
Arctic air is slowly returning to the weather pattern and by the end of the week near to below seasonal temperatures will be found across much of Canada. The various shades of blue, green and violet on the map below highlight the areas that will be below seasonal on Friday.
While this represents quite a reversal in the weather pattern, temperatures will not be as frigid as they can be this time or year nor as cold as what many saw with the arctic outbreaks during December.
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Second Week of February
The map below is a model forecast for the beginning of next week. Arctic air will be in place across much of Canada (though not as frigid as what many saw in December), but that is only part of the story.
Warm air from the southern U.S. will be surging north, setting up a rather sharp boundary between the warm air and the Arctic air. That will set the stage for a more active weather pattern next week.
It is too early to identify exact storm tracks and impacts, but it looks like a large Colorado low will track towards the Great Lakes during Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and this storm could bring a brief surge of warm air and rain into southern Ontario and southern Quebec (heavy snow in the north) before the Arctic air returns late in the week.