After one of the mildest winters on record, Canada will get a healthy dose of snow and cold this season, with storms in the east, white stuff in central Canada, and dry cold in the west, a new winter forecast predicts.
The annual AccuWeather.com winter forecast released Wednesday suggests those staples of the traditional Canadian winter will make a comeback in 2012-2013, though the Maritime provinces will be spared the bitter temperatures.
The forecast comes after Canada’s third warmest winter on record. Environment Canada reports that the national average temperature for the winter of 2011-2012 was 3.6 degrees C above normal. The warmest winter on record since nationwide records began in 1948 was in 2009-2010, at 4.1C above normal.
In a blog, AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said the forecast takes into account a number of factors, including jet stream patterns, sea surface temperature anomalies and the lower-than-normal extent of sea ice in the Arctic, Hudson Bay and Gulf of St. Lawrence.
The trade-off for the lack of cold in Atlantic Canada this winter will be an active “storm track” due to above-normal water temperatures off the coast, AccuWeather said. Large storms with intense rain, snow and wind will likely strike during the middle-to-late winter.
"For St. John's and Halifax, we do expect a fairly stormy winter, especially from January through February, a number of coastal storms, I believe, will be coming up in those areas," Anderson said.
In Ontario and Quebec, skiers will be pleased to learn that the forecast calls for typical winter conditions beginning in January with above-normal snowfall in the first two months of the new year, though normal amounts averaged out over the season.