To trust or not to trust winter weather predictions?

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After the last couple of years, you have to admit, it’s a valid question. And so I read the below article without taking it too seriously (all due respect to the scientists who worked on it; I’m certain they are quite good at what they do).

But hey, I’d rather expect something good and not get too depressed as the days grow shorter and shorter…

Environment Canada cautiously predicts this winter won’t be as bad as last

October 31, 2008 – 18:37


TORONTO – Canadians hoping for a milder winter than last year’s may have reason for cautious optimism, says a senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

“It’s like a moving target,” David Phillips said of this year’s winter forecast. “But it’s rare that you would have two back-to-back winters like that.

“I would bet a good sum of money on the fact we will not have a repeat of last year from a snow point of view.”

Environment Canada’s forecast issued Saturday for November through early January offers some hope to Canadians looking for kinder conditions than last winter, which punished Canadians in the east with record-breaking snowfall and those in the west with bitter cold.

For the first half of this winter, Environment Canada is expecting milder than normal temperatures from the Great Lakes eastward.

The southern and central Prairies are expected to see near-normal temperatures, with the northern Prairies, most of B.C. and the Arctic below normal.

Assuming the forecast holds true, “it won’t seem nearly as harsh from a temperature point of view as last year,” Phillips said.

Precipitation is expect to be near normal in the eastern half of the country, while most of the Prairie provinces are expected to see normal to above-normal amounts of snow. (…)

Phillips said the uncertainty in forecasting this winter lies with the fact there is no El Nino or La Nina – ocean-atmosphere phenomena in the Pacific Ocean that influence global weather patterns.

“It’s what people call La Nada – it’s a neutral situation out there,” Phillips said. “The Pacific doesn’t seem to be a factor so much in this particular winter.”

The traditional December to February winter forecast from Environment Canada is expected to be released in late November.

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2 thoughts on “To trust or not to trust winter weather predictions?

  1. This isn’t a post about the X-files Ghazal 😉 But yeah, I know what you mean. The weather has gotten pretty messed up, hasn’t it…

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