The Weather Network has issued their winter outlook for December, January and February. Across the country, Canadians should expect a return to winter conditions, says the forecast.

Unlike last winter, the upcoming season will be more in line with a typical Canadian winter. Alternating patterns of fair and stormy conditions are expected throughout the season, meaning Canadians can look for stretches of calm weather followed by a winter storm. Typical of this type of weather pattern, it wouldn’t be unusual to see temperatures higher in Yukon than Southern Ontario on occasion this winter.

“We are likely to get more of a winter this year than what Mother Nature delivered last year, but it won’t necessarily be brutal either,” said Chris Scott, Director of Meteorology with The Weather Network in a statement. “Last winter’s tame conditions were unusual; whereas this year it’s unlikely your snowbrushes and shovels will have a chance to collect dust.”

Western Canada Winter

Precipitation across Western Canada is expected to be near normal from British Columbia through to the Manitoba/Ontario border.  Western Nunavut is anticipated to be the only exception where conditions are on tap to be drier than normal.  Much of the northern Prairies and Northwest Territories are likely to experience below normal temperatures; all other regions are forecast to have near normal temperatures.

Eastern Canada Winter

Most areas east of the Manitoba/Ontario border can look for near normal conditions throughout the winter months.  Canadians in Atlantic Canada can anticipate a winter with above normal precipitation and temperatures due to an active storm track along the jet stream.

What does ‘normal’ mean?

When forecasters refer to a normal, they are talking about the mathematical average of the temperature or precipitation recorded over 30 years. To calculate the average winter temperature for a particular city during the winter months, meteorologists add together all the daily average temperatures for December, January and February and divide the total by 90 (3-month period). When temperatures are expected to be above or below normal, meteorologists are forecasting the average temperature over the 90 days to be one degree above or below average.  The same can be applied to precipitation.  When above or below normal precipitation is expected, a specific area is forecast to receive 30 per cent more or less precipitation than usual.

The Weather Network’s Winter 2012 – 2013 Outlook


Temperature Outlook

Precipitation Outlook

British Columbia Near normal. Near normal.
Alberta Below normal for northeastern Alberta. Near normal conditions elsewhere. Near normal for the province.
Saskatchewan Below normal for northern and east-central Saskatchewan. Near normal conditions elsewhere. Near normal for the province.
Manitoba Near normal for the northeastern and southern parts of Manitoba. Below normal elsewhere. Near normal for the province.
Ontario Below normal for portions of the northwest. Near normal elsewhere. Above normal for the Georgian Bay region into the Nickel Belt.. Near normal elsewhere.
Québec Above normal for areas around the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Near Normal elsewhere. Above normal for areas around the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Near normal elsewhere.
The Maritimes and Newfoundland Above normal for: NS, PEI, most of NFLD, and southeastern NB. Near normal elsewhere. Above normal for: NS, PEI, eastern NB, and western NFLD. Near normal elsewhere.
Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut Below normal for most of the Northwest Territories and the western parts of Nunavut. Above normal for eastern Nunavut. Near normal elsewhere. Below normal for western Nunavut. Above normal for eastern Nunavut. Near normal elsewhere.


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