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The 2016/2017 winter forecast for Canada

10/19/2016, 5:38:29 AM

Winter 2016/2017 temperature departure from normal forecast (Dec./Jan./Feb.)


Winter 2016/17 snowfall departure from normal forecast (Dec./Jan./Feb.)


1. West coast will get off to a stormy start this winter with several, potent storms bringing heavy rainfall and strong winds to the coast of BC, while heavy snow will quickly pile up in the mountains, which should get the western ski season off to a good start.

2. The pattern will turn drier for the second half of the winter across BC, but with the potential for some brief shots of Arctic air all the way down to the lower mainland of BC, especially in January.

3. December looking windier than usual with spells of mild weather (chinooks) across southern Alberta, including the Calgary area as weakening Pacific storm systems race across the region. By January and February, Arctic high pressure systems should push farther south into the Prairies.

4. The pattern change by midwinter will likely send waves of very cold, Arctic air directed into the southern Prairies for January and February. These Arctic fronts will likely bring brief periods of snow. Heaviest snowfall (upslope events) will be across the higher terrain of southwestern Alberta. Despite the Arctic fronts, a persistent northwesterly flow of air the second half of winter will suppress moisture far to the south, leading to below-normal snowfall over the eastern Prairies.

5. The upcoming winter will likely be a stormy one across eastern and Atlantic Canada, especially during January and February. This pattern will lead to a higher probability of significant snowfall events from eastern Ontario through Quebec and into New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Closer to the warmer-than-normal Atlantic Ocean waters, areas such as Nova Scotia and PEI will see constant battles between snow, ice and rain. I believe February will be the snowiest month in these coastal regions.

6. Despite the snowy forecast, temperatures across most of eastern and Atlantic Canada will average near to above normal for the winter as a whole, as the coldest air will concentrate over the Prairies during the core of the winter. However, there will still be some significant shots of Arctic air into the East, especially during January and early February.

6. I expect this upcoming season's ski season to be significantly better than last winter's in the east.

7. Snow showers and heavier lake-effect snow will be common this winter due to rounds of cold air moving over the warmer-than-normal Great Lakes, especially during late December and January.

8. As has been the case over recent years, much of far northern Canada will end up much warmer compared to normal, especially in January and February.


Questions or comments? Feel free to post them in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer them in short time.

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