Cold winter coming to the prairies, snow in the east

(Photo by Danny LaRoche, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Snowmobile owners in Ontario and Quebec may want to get their sleds ready, while prairie dwellers may want to sell the snowmobile and put the money toward the heating budget or a down payment on a warm place further south.

Okay, maybe it’s a little early to make those decisions, but according to AccuWeather’s winter forecast, Western Canada is in for a colder than normal, windy winter, while Ontario and Quebec will see more normal temperatures and above-normal snowfall due to more snowstorms.

Click to enlarge (courtesy

A weak La Nina is one of the dominant factors in a model that’s predicting the jet stream will dive south, driving more arctic air down east of the Rockies, “especially across the eastern prairies, when you get into eastern portions of Saskatchewan, across Manitoba, into northwestern Ontario,” says Bob Smerbeck, senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, in the conversation below.

The blasts of arctic air are expected to also affect the western side of the prairies, but AccuWeather says these conditions “should be short-lived with fairly quick warmups,” referring to central and southern Alberta.

Click to enlarge (courtesy

It’ll be a busy storm season in eastern Canada, especially downwind of the abnormally warm Great Lakes, says Smerbeck.

“We do think it’ll also get busy as far as storms that get their origin across the southern United States, even toward the Gulf of Mexico. They’ll come riding up the eastern portions of North America, so that can create some snow storms as well.”

Listen to Bob Smerbeck discuss the implications of a weak La Nina, the “buckling” of the jet stream, and what AccuWeather’s models say we should expect for the upcoming winter across Canada:

Related: Hot and dry? AccuWeather meteorologist explains Canadian summer forecast


Kelvin Heppner

Kelvin Heppner is a field editor and radio host for RealAgriculture and RealAg Radio. He's been reporting on agriculture on the prairies and across Canada since 2008(ish). He farms with his family near Altona, Manitoba, and is on Twitter at @realag_kelvin. @realag_kelvin


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