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Canada to earn its ‘Great White North’ moniker this winter

Much of Canada is set to plunge into an old-fashioned cold, snowy deep-freeze this winter, according to the latest forecast from The Weather Network.

The return to a classic Canadian winter follows an exceptionally mild one last year brought on by a strong El Nino phase. The contrast could make the frigid temperatures and heavier snowfalls feel especially jarring.

“For most Canadian cities, count on doing more shovelling than last year,” chief meteorologist Chris Scott told CTV News. “It may not be a brutally cold winter all the time, but compared to last year this is more of a classic Canadian winter.”

A pedestrian trudges through the snow in Fredericton on December 15, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray

Ontario and Quebec can expect a bigger dose of the white stuff than last year. This will be particularly true in the lake-effect snowbelts where lingering warm water in the Great Lakes is expected to fuel snow squalls late into the season.

Atlantic Canada is also supposed to see an uptick in active weather. Storms are expected to vary between those that push up from the Great Lakes to systems that push out to sea. The mixed bag of storm tracks means a variety of snow, ice and rain will be on the menu.

The Weather Network is calling for normal snowfall across the Prairie Provinces. However, Alberta’s foothills and high prairies could see a bit more than usual.

Western Canada is expected to see above-average precipitation thanks to a stream of Pacific moisture wafting across British Columbia. Snow conditions should be favourable in the Rockies, and the Lower Mainland will have an increased chance of flurries compared to recent years.

Ironically, the only places that are expected to be consistently warmer than normal are in the North: the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon and parts of northern Quebec and Labrador.

Environment Canada thinks the plunge in temperatures may not come until January, offering plenty of time to stock up on thermal socks or book a flight to someplace warmer.

“We think the first half of this winter will be milder than normal,” said Environment Canada climatologist Dave Phillips. “The toughest part will be the end.”

Charitz

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