Canada winter forecast: Snowstorms to frequent Ontario, Quebec; Dangerously cold air to grip the Prairies
By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
October 17, 2017, 1:15:13 AM EDT
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A snow-filled winter is in store for much of eastern Canada as storms frequent some of the country’s most populated cities.
Meanwhile, storms will also bring ample snow to the Canadian Rockies, promoting good skiing conditions all winter long.
The weather pattern setting up over Canada this winter will be influenced by the development of La Niña.
“AccuWeather.com meteorologists expect weak La Niña conditions in the equatorial Pacific, which is expected to play a role in the overall weather pattern across North America during the upcoming winter,” AccuWeather Canadian Weather Expert Brett Anderson said.
Snowstorms to frequent Ontario, Quebec
A snowy winter is expected for much of eastern Canada with the prospect of a few big snowstorms throughout the season.
“There are opportunities for several significant snow events from Windsor through Toronto and up into Ottawa and Montreal this winter, especially in January and February,” Anderson said.
The abnormally warm waters in the Great Lakes will also fuel significant lake-effect snow events, especially for cities such as Sault Ste. Marie, Barrie and London, Ontario, according to Anderson.
The combination of frequent snowstorms and lake-effect snow events will make for a good ski and snowmobile season across eastern Canada.
While much of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley will face a snowy winter, milder conditions are in the forecast for Atlantic Canada.
“Cloudier and milder conditions will prevail in cities such as Saint John, Halifax and Charlotteown,“ Anderson said.
The expected track of storm systems and the warmer-than-normal waters in the North Atlantic will help to keep the bitter cold of winter at bay.
“This may also increase the potential for some major ocean storms during the winter that may target Newfoundland with rain or snow,” Anderson said.
Dangerously low temperatures to grip the Prairies
Waves of arctic air will blast across the Canadian Prairies in the coming months, causing temperatures to plummet to dangerously low levels multiple times throughout the winter.
These arctic intrusions will be short-lived and followed up by fairly quick warmups in the western Prairies, including Calgary and Edmonton.
Meanwhile, winter will start off on a mild note across the eastern Prairies before the bitter cold settles across the region.
“Compared to last winter, the upcoming winter is expected to be colder from the eastern Prairies to Quebec,” Anderson said.
Biting winds accompanying the frigid arctic air will make it feel even colder with AccuWeather RealFeel® temperatures dropping to dangerous levels multiple times throughout the winter.
Early snow to bring good skiing conditions to western Canada
As waves of arctic air focus on the Prairies, rounds of storms will deliver plenty of snow to the Canadian Rockies.
The ski season in western Canada is expected to get off to a very good start with a quickly established snowpack, Anderson said.
The abundance of snow that falls over the Rockies will benefit the ski resorts across the region, allowing them to remain open well into the spring.
Although the heaviest snow will be confined to the mountains, some snow is expected to make its way all the way to the coast of British Columbia, including around Vancouver and Victoria.
“There will be an increased opportunity for a couple of arctic intrusions, which may eventually set the stage for a few snow events near the coast,” Anderson said.
Meanwhile, drier-than-normal conditions are in the forecast farther north in British Columbia with only a few storm systems tracking far enough north to bring a significant amount of snow.
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