The Weather Network’s 2018-2019 Winter Forecast
Most Canadians have already experienced an early and abrupt blast of wintry weather. Is this a false start to winter or a preview of what is to come? According to the Weather Network’s Winter Forecast, it depends on which part of Canada you call home.
“A developing El Niño typically signals a milder winter across most of the country, and for Western Canada that is exactly what we expect for the upcoming season,” said Chris Scott, Chief Meteorologist at The Weather Network. “For the Western Prairies, this means the abnormally cold fall has not been a sign of things to come. However, from Ontario to Atlantic Canada we are seeing a snowy sneak preview of what will become the dominant pattern for winter.”
Here’s a more detailed look at the conditions expected across the country this winter:
A mild winter is expected across the province with fewer episodes of arctic air in the Lower Mainland and fewer threats of significant snow in coastal areas and interior valleys. Below normal precipitation is anticipated with fewer storms and more periods of dry weather. However, the pattern will break down at times, potentially bringing an abundance of rain and mountain snow in a relatively short period of time. This should allow south coast rainfall totals to be close to normal despite the overall drier pattern. The ski season could be challenging at times, but is by no means a total write-off. Preliminary indications are also for an earlier arrival of spring weather.
The Prairies will be a battle zone between the mild Pacific air to the west and arctic air to the east. This will result in a changeable winter with back and forth swings in temperature, which are expected to tip to the mild side of normal across Alberta and into western Saskatchewan. However, these temperature swings should come close to offsetting each other across the eastern Prairies. While the final numbers are predicted to be near “normal” across Manitoba, the winter will feel anything but “normal”. Extended periods of harsh winter weather are expected, along with periods of mild weather. Most of the region is expected to see near normal or below normal snowfall with lower than typical concerns for spring flooding.
Ontario & Quebec
A long, cold winter is probable across most of the region. Colder than normal temperatures are already in the books for October and November and this pattern should dominate through the winter, especially during the season’s second half. Winter will take a breather at times during December and the traditional January thaw is still expected with the potential for an extended thaw before a bitter conclusion to winter. With frequent shots of arctic air bringing an abundance of lake effect snow to the traditional snow belts, near normal seasonal snowfall is anticipated despite fewer high impact storms than normal. However, areas outside of the snow belts, including the Greater Toronto Area, may fall short of normal snowfall. The region will be teased with early spring weather in March, but overall we expect a delay in the arrival of consistent spring warmth.
November has provided Atlantic Canada with a preview of the long and stormy winter that is anticipated across the region. An active storm track from the Gulf of Mexico, up the U.S. East Coast and into Atlantic Canada is expected. While many of these storms will track offshore and keep snow as the dominant precipitation type across the region, some of these storms will track further north. This will bring very mild temperatures and rain at times, especially to southern areas where temperatures are forecast to balance out to near normal for the season. The winter pattern will also likely linger into early spring.
Above normal temperatures are expected to dominate much of the region, including all of the Yukon and Northwest Territories and western Nunavut. However, near to below normal temperatures are predicted for eastern Nunavut including Iqaluit. Above normal snowfall is expected across the Yukon and into western Northwest Territories. Near normal snowfall totals are expected elsewhere across the region.
The Weather Network: Winter 2018-2019 Forecast
Below normal south; near normal central and Vancouver Island; above normal north
Below normal south; near normal north
Above normal west; near normal east
Below normal southwest; near normal elsewhere
Near normal; below normal southeast corner
Below normal south and east; near normal northwest
Near normal; below normal for parts of northwest Ontario
Below normal; near normal close to Hudson Bay
The Maritimes and Newfoundland & Labrador
Near normal southern Maritimes, southern and central Newfoundland; Below normal northern Maritimes, northern Newfoundland and Labrador
Above normal most of Maritimes and southern Newfoundland; Near normal northern New Brunswick, northern Newfoundland and Labrador.
Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut
Above normal Yukon, Northwest Territories and western Nunavut; Near normal eastern Nunavut except below normal southern Baffin Island, including Iqaluit
Above normal Yukon & western Northwest Territories; near normal elsewhere
Complete Winter Forecast details, including regional breakdowns, maps and charts are available at www.theweathernetwork.com/winter.