Holiday storm looms as winter kicks off in Canada. What can we expect?

Holiday storm looms as winter kicks off in Canada. What can we expect?

Two storms in two weeks over Canada: is this a harbinger of the coming winter?

The season officially begins on Wednesday with the arrival of the winter solstice, and Canadians across the country will feel the wrath of another major storm ahead of the holiday. The system is so vast that Environment Canada issued notices and special statements for much of the country on Tuesday.

Last week, Canadians addressed the impact of a massive system that brought winter storms to western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. Are these storms a sign of what the winter of 2023 will be like?

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For one, said Anthony Farnell, Global News’ chief meteorologist, this winter will be one of ups and downs in terms of temperatures.

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“I think that’s going to be a trend for the next few months where we’re getting a lot of winter storms and chances of snow, but we’re also seeing it’s melting pretty quickly – especially as we go from Ontario to Atlantic Canada, where there haven’t been before.” too much winter,” he said.

“In western Canada, particularly on the prairies, this is the area where I think the cold will dominate this winter. With a few exceptions it has so far and I see it coming back.”

A storm is sweeping across Canada before Christmas

When Christmas comes this weekend, Canadians will feel the wrath of another winter storm.

Many in British Columbia woke up Tuesday to heavy snow that had fallen overnight. Portions of South Vancouver Island had about 10 inches of snowfall, with Metro Vancouver showing at least 6 inches. Environment Canada expected at least five to ten centimeters of additional snow on Tuesday.

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A person stops a taxi as heavy snow falls in downtown Vancouver late Monday, December 19.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The snowfall forced Vancouver International Airport to temporarily suspend incoming flights and ground many departing planes at their gates. BC Ferries canceled several departures and Abbotsford Police reported white-out conditions along Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley.

In Alberta and Saskatchewan, many regions have been subjected to extreme cold warnings. Calgary is expected to have wind chill temperatures of -40C or colder throughout the week, while Regina should see wind chill temperatures of -50C Tuesday morning, Environment Canada said.

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Heavy snowfall on British Columbia’s south coast wreaks havoc on roads, transportation and schools

The storm, which is affecting western Canada, will move across the country to Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada later this week. The system will begin in southern Ontario starting Thursday, and it could be a “particularly dangerous storm” in the area, said Peter Kimbell, alert weather forecaster at Environment Canada.

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“It will start with rain, possibly snow turning to rain in eastern Ontario. It’s getting much warmer, but the severity of the storm will be felt in a flash freeze we expect to see in southern Ontario later on Friday as temperatures quickly drop below zero,” he said.

“This flash freeze will likely make its way through eastern Ontario and also southern Quebec into Friday night, so there will be very treacherous driving conditions in those areas.”

SkyTracker’s forecast for an expected major winter storm across Ontario for the Friday before Christmas 2022.

Anthony Farnell/Global News

According to Farnell, the system is also expected to bring strong winds that could cause power outages and potentially “blizzard conditions” due to lake-effect snow in parts of southern Ontario.

The storm will continue on Saturday.

With the holidays approaching, Environment Canada wanted to give early preparation to Canadians who may have travel plans for the weekend, Kimbell added.

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“Anyone on the road in southern Ontario on Friday should seriously consider revising their plans as it can lead to very dangerous driving conditions,” he said.

“I can’t predict exactly what airlines will do, but I’m sure there will be some significant impact, so people need to consider that as well.”

How exactly will winter 2023 play out?

With two major storms hitting Canada in the last few days of fall, will that be the norm this winter?

“We expect winter storms during the winter season, so it’s not uncommon,” Kimbell said.

“This weekend’s is going to be particularly violent with very low central pressure from very strong winds across Ontario so this will be a particularly dangerous storm, but I don’t think it’s a harbinger of winter.”

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In fact, temperatures will be above the season in many parts of Canada on New Year’s Eve, Farnell said.

This trend is likely to continue into the first half of January before shifting to a ‘very cold’ end of January and a possible start in February as well.

This season will also be the third consecutive “La Nina” winter Canadians have experienced, Farnell added. La Ninas develop over the Pacific region due to colder-than-normal water temperatures, affecting weather patterns across Canada.

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“Very rarely have we had La Nina three years in a row,” he said, adding that La Nina winters bear similarities to previous ones; The year 2022 started with really cold weather across the country.

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Regardless of the temperatures, winter reigns throughout Canada until the arrival of the vernal equinox on March 20, 2023.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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