Toronto should expect stormier, colder winter
Torontonians will experience a return to typical winter conditions this year, thanks to the La Nina effect.
“After last year, where we got off very easily across our region, we’re back into a little more winter this year,” said Chris Scott, meteorologist and Weather Network forecast operations manager.
Scott said the GTA normally receives about 120 cm of snow over the course of a winter but last year the city saw less than half the amount. This year, Toronto is predicted to receive more than 1 m of snow.
The city should expect stretches of a couple of weeks where there will be storms every three or four days bringing in snow, Scott said.
According to the Weather Network’s outlook for the months of December, January and February, Toronto’s average low will hover around -9 C with an average high of -1 C.
“We think there’s going to be some fairly significant cold snaps with some fairly significant warm spells in between,” Scott said.
The city can expect average precipitation of about 156 mm.
However, parts of southwestern Ontario should prepare for more precipitation than usual.
“Normal” conditions are calculated by looking at data over a 30-year period, according to the Weather Network’s website. The network’s 2010-11 outlook used data collected between 1971 and 2000 to calculate normal temperatures and rates of precipitation.
Scott said last year’s mild winter was due to the El Nino current, which produced big storms in the U.S. but gave Canada almost the opposite effect.
This year, with La Nina, we can expect a stormier season with more extreme changes in temperature.
“I like to think of her as the dinner party guest with a really big personality,” he said. “There’ll be lots of ups and downs and swings.”
--Gloria Er-Chua, Staff Reporter