Bizarre weather? Blame 'rollercoaster' jet stream
Parts of Europe may be getting the cold shoulder, but parts of Canada have been experiencing abnormally warm weather.
There have been record-breaking temperatures in parts of northern Canada like Iqaluit, which has had its warmest year ever.
It’s a stark contrast to last week when southwestern Ontario was pummeled with snow, stranding hundreds of motorists for more than 24 hours along a 30-kilometre stretch of Hwy. 402, near Sarnia.
Weather conditions have been equally troubling across the Atlantic as hundreds of travellers have had their flights cancelled at London’s Heathrow airport due to severe weather conditions.
According to Environment Canada, this variance in temperature is a result of a large high pressure area that is hanging over Greenland.
The high spins clockwise, bringing warmer, milder air from the open ocean into Canada while funneling cool, Arctic air into Europe. This means that some are basking in warmth while others are crippled by the cold.
Dave Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, said all weather flows along the jet stream. But instead of flowing like a ribbon, it’s been more like a “rollercoaster.”
This means that some are basking in warmth while others are crippled by the cold.
“It’s going up and down and going northwards and southward and dipping and diving like a snake across the northern hemisphere,” he said. “What this does generally is [cause] strange weather and unusual and unseasonable patterns.”
In spite of the bizarre weather, Environment Canada is predicting milder conditions for the holidays for residents of the GTA.
“Toronto has been the doughnut hole of the snow going around us. But somehow, nothing has hit Toronto,” said Phillips.
This weather pattern is likely to continue into the holidays, he added.
Saturday will bring a mix of sun and cloud with a 30 per cent chance of flurries. Residents of the GTA can expect a high of -4 C and a low of -9 C.
“It’s what I call the perfect Christmas day. It’s where you have snow on the ground so you have a white Christmas. You have snow in the air. Not enough to stop the unwanted guests from staying another day but enough to give you that Christmas card look,” said Phillips.
“In many ways, I think we have a gorgeous week coming up”
For Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, not so much.
“It’s not happy in Happy Valley because it’s a green Christmas,” Phillips added.
-- Liem Vu, Staff Reporter