‘Weather Whiplash’ Coming As Canada Enters Winter, Weather Network Says – Coast Mountain News


One of Canada’s foremost weather forecasters said the extreme storms that hit parts of the country over the past month could be a sign of what lies ahead for the winter ahead.

Weather Network chief meteorologist Chris Scott says colder water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean create what are commonly referred to as La Niña conditions, which often lead to drastic changes in southern Canada .

Scott says the result will sometimes look like a “whiplash” this winter, as temperatures and precipitation levels hover between extremes throughout the season.

He says British Columbia and most of the Prairie provinces are set to see above-average precipitation and cooler-than-average temperatures, noting that recent torrential rainstorms that caused widespread flooding in British Columbia are a particularly striking example.

The forecast calls for above normal precipitation, but colder temperatures will result in more snow, especially at higher elevations, resulting in an extended ski season in BC.

A snowy winter is forecast in the southern half of Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, while near normal snowfall is forecast elsewhere.

Scott says the battle between seasonal highs and lows will play out most dramatically in Quebec and Ontario, where above-average precipitation is expected amid below-normal temperatures in the northwest and upper regions. average in more southerly regions.

A stormy winter followed by prolonged periods of mild weather will bring a lot of snow followed by a mixture of snow, ice and rain, especially in southern areas. Winter will arrive early but the extreme cold will not persist in the heart of the season.

“While we expect above normal snowfall, I wouldn’t want your hopes to be of a great ski season in southern Ontario as there will be times when we have decent amounts of snowfall. snow, but then it will be a pass the winter where it sometimes seems like the winter is swept away by a blast of warm weather for a few weeks, ”Scott said in a phone interview.

The Atlantic provinces could see larger 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 largely result in lower snowfall. to normal and temperatures slightly above seasonal norms.

Scott also predicts above-average temperatures for Nunavut, while the long-term forecast for the Yukon and Northwest Territories calls for cooler overall conditions with less precipitation than usual.

“When we get a La Niña weather model, we tend to have a very stormy setup with the jet stream across the northern United States and southern Canada,” Scott said. “Because we’re in the jet stream, we tend to have a lot of ups and downs in our temperatures. And so we’re going to have this whiplash effect where we’re kind of rocking back and forth over the next three months.

Scott said the above-average rainfall levels forecast for much of the country don’t necessarily spell bad news for areas already ravaged by flooding, noting that much can turn to snow when temperatures really winter settles.

While the La Niña patterns are far from new, Scott said recent episodes of extreme weather that washed away key pieces of infrastructure and even led to multiple deaths in British Columbia bear the mark of a broader climate change.

He compared the results of rising global temperatures to a pair of dice that have been subtly weighted to make certain weather events more or less likely.

“So what happens is you roll the dice, and each dice is weighted a little differently. And so the chances of having heavy precipitation or a heat wave are higher than they would have been 50 years ago, ”he said.

“At the same time, the chances of catching a severe cold are a bit lower. So it’s not that we can’t get certain things or that we get certain things because of climate change. It all depends on the odds and the risks. “

—The Canadian Press

Flooding in British Columbia


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