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Sick of the BITTER cold? There might be good news ahead


Dr. Doug Gillham
Meteorologist, PhD

Friday, January 5, 2018, 4:16 PM - Late December 2017 and the first week of 2018 will long be remembered for the extreme cold weatherthat arrived as Siberian air spread across most of Canada.


Visit our  Complete Guide to Winter 2017/18for tips on how to to survive it, and much more.


The map below shows temperature anomalies during the past two weeks with the various shades of blue, green and violet highlighting the areas that have been colder than normal. Most of southern Canada has been 5 to 10 degrees colder than normal during this two week period.

However, for those who are not enjoying the cold weather, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the features of our winter forecast was that we would see an extended mid-winter break from the cold pattern, and that still looks to be on track. A major pattern reversal is on the way for the second half of the month which will bring an extended period of above seasonal temperatures to most of Canada.

The map below highlights the temperature pattern that we expect will dominate the second half of January.

However, we are still roughly ten days away from seeing this pattern get established. The second week of January will be a week of transition which will bring a temperature roller coaster and active weather across much of Canada.

The week will start of mild across Southern Canada but there is one more shot of arctic air that will be taking aim at the Prairies during the middle of the week and then spreading towards the Great Lakes late in the week. Meanwhile, very mild air will also be surging north from the Gulf of Mexico bringing a brief period of very mild weather from Southern Ontario to the Maritimes.

That map below is the temperature anomaly forecast for next Thursday. This highlights the return of arctic air to the Prairies while much warmer weather surges north from Southern Ontario to the Maritimes with the potential for temperatures to approach double digits across parts of southern Ontario.

This particular warm-up will be short-lived, though, as a few days of wintry weather will return to the Great Lakes for next weekend and into the third week of January. However, during the third week of January mild Pacific air will spread across Canada and bring a more extended period of mild weather.

However, it is important to keep in mind that “normal” temperatures during late January are at their coldest levels of the year. Therefore, it is quite possible for many places (especially more northerly locations) to still see snow and ice at times while in a mild pattern.

Of course, it should go without saying that this period of milder weather is by no means the end of winter. A colder pattern will return first to Western Canada and then spread east during early February as winter is expected to finish strong across most of Canada, especially during the second half of February and well into March.

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