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Canada winter 2017-2018 outlook

October 16, 2017; 8:22 AM




--We currently expect weak La Nina conditions in the equatorial Pacific, which is expected to play a role in the overall weather pattern across North America during the upcoming winter. Keep in mind that if La Nina fails to develop, or ends up being stronger than expected, this would likely have an impact on this forecast for some regions.

--Compared to last winter, the upcoming winter is expected to be colder from the eastern Prairies to Quebec and not as cold in BC and the Rockies.

--Good ski/snowmobile season is anticipated in the east, especially from January into March due to a higher number of snow storms. However, the winter is not expected to be unusually cold.

--In the West, ski season expected to get off to a very good start with a quickly established snowpack. Waves of arctic air through the winter should keep a deep snowpack well into spring.

--It will be a cloudier winter near and downwind of the abnormally warm Great Lakes. This should also promote significant lake-effect snowfall events, especially for cities such as Sault Ste. Marie, Barrie and London, Ontario during January and early February.

--Warmer-than-normal north Atlantic waters will have a modifying effect on temperature across Atlantic Canada during the winter, with an increase in clouds and fog. This may also increase the potential for some major ocean storms during the winter that may target Newfoundland with rain or snow.

--Stronger winds will be more common over the eastern Prairies this winter, which may lead to dangerous RealFeel temperatures and whiteout conditions when combined with the Arctic cold waves.

--Mixed signals for British Columbia. Key to forecast will be where the Pacific storm track sets up. At this point, I favor the storm track to be more directed into Oregon and Washington, but there is the potential that it could be farther north. I do favor a drier, cold winter for northern BC with high pressure over Alaska.

--Snowfall in the Vancouver/Victoria is expected to be near to above average. I believe there will be an increased opportunity for a couple of Arctic intrusions, which may eventually set the stage for a few snow events near the coast.

--Cold winter for cities such as Regina, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.

--Several arctic blasts are expected for Edmonton and Calgary, but they should be short-lived with fairly quick warmups.

--There will be opportunities for several significant snow events from Windsor through Toronto and up into Ottawa and Montreal this winter, especially in January-February. With storm track fairly close to this region, expect rain/ice to be a factor, especially near Lake Erie.

--Cloudier and milder conditions will prevail in cities such as Saint John, NB; Halifax, NS and Charlottown, PEI.

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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