Canada What kind of weather should Albertans expect this winter?

09:27  06 december  2019
09:27  06 december  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Whether you'll experience a dry, mild winter or a wet, cold one will be all about the seesaw dance of warmer and cooler seawater in the tropical Pacific

" This winter we should have a fairly weak El Nino, which means wetter than normal on average. Temperatures could either be warmer than normal or if you start the winter with some snow up north and it extends down toward Oklahoma in the month of December, it can violently swing toward colder

a man that is standing in the snow: Residents digging out after about a foot of snow fell in the Edmonton, Alta. region as of Monday, December 3, 2018. © Dave Carels, Global News Residents digging out after about a foot of snow fell in the Edmonton, Alta. region as of Monday, December 3, 2018.

It may feel like winter already but technically, it's still fall. So what kind of winter will it be?

If you are using the Idaho low as a reference, a weather system that formed on Sept. 26 and then slammed into southern Alberta, dropping up to 80 centimetres of snow in some regions, you might be overshooting it a bit.

A weather system that brought storms which saw winds reach 130 kilometres per hour in some areas on Oct. 25, or the one that delivered an EF-0 tornado on Sept. 10 in Carbon, also may not be the best indicator of what is to come this winter.

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This winter differs from last winter , in that we are in a moderate La Nina phase, with indications that it will be strong. Drier than normal conditions also typically occur in the Central Plains in the fall and in the Southeast in the winter . In contrast, the Pacific Northwest is more likely to be wetter than normal

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Environment Canada meteorologist Sara Hoffman says "when it comes to Alberta, we are looking at a warmer than normal winter, and normal to above normal precipitation is expected." a close up of a sign © Provided by Global News a close up of a sign © Provided by Global News

But that above normal precipitation is only for the northern regions of Alberta. The central and southern regions can expect an average amount.

Environment Canada says a normal average temperature for winter in Edmonton is -8.9 C, and for Calgary it is -6.4 C. That is based on normals from 1981 to 2010. Last year, the average in Edmonton was -10.8 C, and in Calgary it was -8.7 C.

READ MORE: Canada's winter forecast: Cold and snowy for large chunk of the country

However, that does not mean there won't be some twists and turns along the way.

"We don't have a good indicator like El Niño, or La Niña -- we are still ENSO neutral as they call it," Hoffman said.

"So we can't exactly say we're in El Niño and that means this, or we're in La Niña and that means this -- for the Prairies -- so it comes down to the models that we run, and the equations that we run."

What Environment Canada can say with more certainty is whether or not Alberta is likely to have a white Christmas -- the chance probability of at least 2 cm or more of snow on the ground.

Edmonton is sitting at an 87 per cent chance of getting a white Christmas, while Calgary currently has a 59 per cent chance.

The Winter Weather Forecast According To Environment Canada .
Good news! This winter is predicted to be milder than normal all across Canada.It’s difficult for meteorologists to tell us exactly what the weather will be like for the whole season, but David Phillips, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s senior climatologist, gave us a nationwide forecast for December through February. “There was a lot of concern because the only forecasts that Canadians really had [so far] was the Weather Network, Farmer’s Almanac, Accuweather, and they all indicated it would be a hard, cruel, cold, snowy kind of winter,” notes Phillips. “I think [Canadians] were tired of winter before it even started.

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