Pattern Reversal Brings a Widespread January Thaw
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 9:31 AM - The first two weeks of January have featured frigid weather across much of Western and Central Canada. Eastern Canada also had a period of frigid weather, but mild temperatures this week have more than offset the cold start to the month.
The map below shows temperatures relative to normal for January thus far.
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During the weekend, temperatures will drop below seasonal again across Eastern Canada, but a dramatic warm up will be underway across Western Canada.
Pacific air will spread across the country next week thanks to a more zonal jet stream pattern. In contrast with the amplified patterns of the winter so far (which has led to periods of active weather with plenty of north-to-south flow), this new pattern will bring more of a westerly influence to the continent. With the polar vortex retreating to the Arctic, the coldest air will remain bottled up in the far north, allowing milder air to take hold for at least a week as we head through the third week of January.
The core of the warmest air relative to normal will be found over central Canada, but the mild conditions will extend from coast-to-coast.
However, if you love winter weather, do not despair - this is by no means the end of winter!
An amplified jet stream pattern is expected to develop again during the final days of January and dominate February and into March. This will bring Arctic air back into our weather pattern and at this point it looks like the focus of the below seasonal temperatures will be directed further east (towards the Great Lakes) than what we have seen so far this winter.