TORONTO – One of Canada’s most prominent weather forecasters says the powerful storms that have hit parts of the country over the past month could be a sign of what awaits for the coming winter. .
Weather Network’s chief meteorologist Chris Scott said cooler water temperatures in the Pacific are creating what are commonly known as La Nina conditions, which often lead to dramatic variation across southern Canada.
Scott said the results will sometimes look like “erratic weather” this winter as temperatures and precipitation fluctuate between the poles throughout the season.
He said British Columbia and much of the Prairie province were trending to see above-average rainfall and colder than average temperatures, noting that recent torrential downpours caused widespread flooding. in BC is a particularly obvious example.
Forecasts show above-normal rainfall but cooler temperatures will lead to heavier snowfall, especially at higher elevations, which will lead to an extended ski season in BC.
A snowy winter is expected in the southern half of Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, while near-normal snowfall is forecast elsewhere.
Scott said the battle between seasonal highs and lows will be strongest in Quebec and Ontario, where above-average rainfall is expected amid fluctuating below-normal temperatures. in the northwest regions and above average in the more southern regions.
Stormy winter weather followed by prolonged mild weather will bring lots of snow followed by a combination of snow, ice and rain, especially in southern regions. Winter weather will come soon but the harsh cold will not last long in the heart of the season.
“While we’re predicting above normal snowfall, I’m not going to give you hope for a great ski season in southern Ontario because there will be times when we get a decent amount of snow but then will come Scott said in a phone interview.
The Atlantic provinces could be hit with more severe storms like the one that recently hit Newfoundland and Labrador as well as parts of Nova Scotia, but Scott said this winter is expected to bring snow falls below normal and temperatures are slightly above the seasonal normal.
Scott also predicts above-average temperatures for Nunavut, while long-range forecasts for the Yukon and Northwest Territories forecast cooler overall conditions with less rain than usual.
“When we get La Nina weather patterns, we tend to get a very stormy setup with water flowing over the northern US and southern Canada,” said Scott. “Because we’re on the jet stream, we tend to get a lot of ups and downs in terms of our temperature. And so we’re going to get this vortex effect as we swing back and forth over the course of three. next month.”
Scott said above-average rain levels forecast for most of the country don’t necessarily bode bad news for areas already ravaged by the floods, noting that much of the rain could turn to snow as the heat sets in. true degrees in winter.
While the La Nina models are far from fiction, Scott said recent extreme weather events that have swept away critical infrastructure and even resulted in many deaths in British Columbia bear signs of climate change. broader climate change.
He likens the result of rising global temperatures to a pair of dice that have been finely weighted to make certain weather events more or less likely.
“So what happens is you’re rolling the dice, and each dice has a slightly different weight. And so the chance of a big rainstorm or a heatwave is higher than 50. years ago,” he said.
“At the same time, the odds of getting a serious cold are a bit less. So it’s not that we can’t get some things or that we get some things because of climate change. It all depends. depends on odds and risks.”
This Canadian Press report was first published on November 29, 2021.