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Winter 2021 forecast – La Nina to play prominent role


TORONTO, ON., Oct. 29, 2020 — Winter 2021 forecast – It is difficult to predict the weather, especially months in advance. However, most professional meteorologists are pointing to one thing – La Nina. In short, La Nina refers to the ‘periodic cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific’, and it will affect our weather pattern this winter.

Will there be a lot of snow this winter?

According to Brett Anderson, Senior Meteorologist at AccuWeather. La Nina will play a prominent role in the general weather pattern across North America – and it means some milder temperatures with plenty of snow for Ontario and the Southern Quebec area. That is good news for skiers.

Anderson predicts a storm track that should extend from the central Plains of the United States, through southern Ontario and into Quebec. There will be cold outbreaks that should not last too long, but several major storms could bring in milder air and with them, a mixed bag of precipitation (snow, rain and ice) from Ottawa to Montreal and Quebec City.

So, basically for the Greater Toronto Horseshoe Area expect a winter similar to last year with mixed rain and snow. Of course, in ski country it will mostly fall in the form of snow.

A recent article on The Weather Network by Meteorologist, Dr. Doug Gillham, appears to back up Anderson’s predictions. He also states, that ‘a developing La Nina will be one of the key drivers of our winter pattern’ and ‘From the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada, we expect that temperatures for the winter as a whole will be warmer than normal.

This should mean fewer and shorter outbreaks of severe cold (and below normal ice coverage on the Great Lakes). However, keep in mind that a mild pattern does not rule out high-impact snow and ice storms. During a Canadian winter, temperatures can be above seasonal and still cold enough for substantial snow and ice’.

Old Farmer’s Almanac prediction for winter 20/21

On the other hand, the Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting ‘a teeth-chattering’ winter, with below-normal temperatures from ‘coast to coast to coast’. However, with climate change making it harder and harder to predict the weather, the Almanac might have been helpful for farmers back in the 19th century when it first started, but perhaps not in the 21st century. They use ‘solar science’ climatology (looking at sunspot activity) to look at prevailing weather patterns and meteorology to study the atmosphere.

David Phillips, Canada’s senior climatologist, was stated as saying in a CBC News report posted August 31st 2019, that ‘scientists examine a multitude of data that includes water temperatures in oceans around the world, ice conditions and land conditions rather than the moon phases almanacs claim to use. The report also states that ‘while there haven’t been any recent studies on the accuracy of farmers’ almanacs’ seasonal forecasts, a paper published in the journal Weatherwise in 1981 found that, rather than the claim held by The Old Farmer’s Almanac that they forecast with 80% accuracy, the reality was closer to 52%, slightly greater than chance.

Whatever it may be, Canadians are tough enough to handle just about anything the weather can throw at them – unless, of course, it disrupts a good hockey game.

By: Bonnie Wurst – info@mtltimes.ca

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