LETHBRIDGE, AB – After going through one of the hottest summer’s we’ve seen here in decades, it looks like we’re now headed for a very cold winter.
Online forecaster, AccuWeather.com has released its Canadian winter forecast and it can be summed up in two words: La Niña.
Meterologist Brett Anderson says that weather phenomenon traditionally means cooler water in the pacific ocean, a lot of rain along the B.C. coast, heavy snow in the mountains, and very cold conditions here on the southern prairies.
“We are thinking this winter is going to be, perhaps one of the coldest winters we’ve had in a few years here,” says Anderson. “Perhaps the coldest winter in eight years or so. We’re expecting a colder winter than normal, especially December through January.”
Forecasters hit the nail on the head when they predicted a very hot summer this year. That’s exactly how it played out with many communities across western Canada setting new heat records.
Now it appears we are going from one extreme to the next.
La Niña usually takes place every three to five years in a cycle and is basically a cooling of water in the Pacific Ocean. As mentioned earlier it typically results in lots of precipitation in British Columbia and pushes the jet stream farther south, which forces frigid arctic to flood across the prairies.
Anderson says this winter could be great for ski resorts with frequent snowfall events likely. “Abundant snowfall is expected through much of ski country from the coastal range of B.C. through the Rockies of western Alberta,” said Anderson. He notes there will be plenty of opportunities for snow across the southern prairies too.
But again, it’ll be the cold that could very well be the weather story this winter in Alberta and Saskatchewan.