January 19, 2011 — Milder than average weather has been the trend so far this winter for Atlantic Canada, Quebec and northern parts of both Ontario, Manitoba and Nunavut. Except for a colder than average Yukon, the rest of the country averaged out near normal, with more snowfall in south coastal BC. Find out what you can expect for the rest of winter as The Weather Network meteorologists release their mid-winter report.
Meteorologists at The Weather Network warn that La Niņa and patterns in the North Atlantic have affected storm tracks. This combined with the global warming trend has brought about extremes in precipitation and temperature. Much of the original seasonal outlook still holds, but there are areas that are seeing a change in the kind of weather that started off their season. For the rest of winter including March, La Niņa conditions are likely to persist across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Independently, a major shift in the weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere is currently underway, which will modify the kind of weather impacts La Niņa has delivered during the first part of winter. See below for provincial and regional breakdowns.
Spells of milder weather for southern BC along with a more active storm track at times, followed by bouts of cold. The risk of heavy coastal snows in southern BC will become increasingly less likely as February progresses. Northern areas can expect normal to slightly drier than normal conditions with near to slightly colder than average temperatures.
Temperatures in Alberta are forecast to average out near to a little below average, though the south will experience periods of milder weather as an increased frequency of Alberta clippers eject out of the foothills allowing Pacific air to move in across the Rockies. This will also bring precipitation amounts to near to slightly above normal in the south. Northern Alberta can expect normal to slightly drier than normal conditions with slightly lower than average temperatures.
Saskatchewan and Manitoba
Near to below average temperatures across much of both provinces with northern Manitoba averaging out somewhat above normal. Precipitation will be near to slightly below normal across the north while the south, including the Grain Belt, can expect near to slightly above average amounts from mid-winter though March as those Alberta Clippers become more frequent.
Ontario and Quebec
Temperatures will average near to slightly below normal with colder wintery weather patterns affecting the region on and off through the period separated by more moderate spells of weather lasting a few days to a week or so. The warmer than average temperature regime this winter across northern Quebec will continue but won't be as strong. A snowier pattern emerges with a potential for short-lived thaws in southern sections becoming more frequent in March. Stormier weather will boost precipitation amounts up to normal or a little above especially in southwestern Ontario.
There will be a cooling trend such that temperatures will average out near the climatological normals compared to the milder than average weather of late. Also, precipitation amounts will be closer to average for the rest of winter as a whole, but the above normal amounts received so far almost ensures that the wettest areas will still see their winter 2010-11 amounts coming in above the 30-year mean.
It won't be quite as mild in Nunavut and not quite as bitter in western parts as the cold eases a little in Yukon and adjacent areas. However, the Arctic areas are still expected to see December through March averages continue above normal in the east and below the mean in the west. Near to slightly below normal precipitation is expected in the Yukon and NWT while a near normal precipitation pattern is expected across Nunavut.