Milder winter expected in the GTA

El Niño may be cause for warmer winter this year

Courtesy of Windsor Star
Last year’s winter was a hassle on Canadians.

Winter is coming back to Canada and Environment Canada released its winter outlook for the country for the next three months. The results: it looks like the GTA won’t have to deal with another severe winter.

Senior Climatologist, David Phillips talked about the report on Canada CTV’s AM.

“We’ll have an up and down, yo-yo kind of weather, but overall we’ll say things are fairly close to normal,” he said. “It’s not nearly the kind of winter we saw in 2013.”

It doesn’t look like the city will see another ice storm either, “even though there will be some polar vortex weather, it won’t be nearly as punishing,” Phillips said.

This is all thanks to an El Niño. An El Niño happens when a warm pool of water near the equator travels to the Pacific and Atlantic shores. This causes a shift in atmospheric flow, impacting weather all over the world. Phillips said that the forecast is about 65 per cent accurate.

The Weather Network is predicting a weak El Niño, so we will still see a few below normal temperatures, but if there are strong active storms throughout the northeast U.S, Southern Ontario could easily see the tail end of that, bringing plenty of the white stuff.

“There is a potential for extended periods of time when the weather will resemble last winter,” Christ Scott, Chief Meteorologist at The Weather Network said, “but that’s not to say that this winter will be the exact same as last year.”

El Niño events are not always created equal. When an El Niño is classified as weak, like this one, it isn’t really classified as an El Niño and “it is often associated with colder temperatures” Scott said. “January and February will have outbreaks of extreme cold.”

Even though we will have some below average temperatures, Phillips doesn’t predict any abnormal amounts of precipitation for most of the country.

“With it being a bit milder, we may see less snow than last year” Phillips said, “It’ll be a dream compared to last year.”