winter toronto

A mild winter could finally be in store for Toronto

There's been a lot of talk about an epic El Nino this year, which will might just be good news if you were shaken to your core by the last two winters in Toronto. NASA scientist Bill Patzert has already named this year's El Nino Godzilla because it might become the largest since 1997, but despite its menacing name, this event could spare our fair city from the brutal cold we've become accustomed to.

If you forget grade nine geography, El Nino occurs naturally every few years when surface water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator gets warmer. This in turn effects wind patterns, putting global weather systems in flux. California, for instance, will likely receive plenty of much needed rain.

While no can definitively predict what's in store for Toronto and the rest of the east coast, many are suggesting we're in for a warmer winter, especially in relation to the past couple of years. As the Toronto Star noted when this El Nino first appeared on the radar, wintertime temperatures during the historic 1997-1998 El Nino were up three degrees in comparison to the seasonal average.

The long term forecast is, however, complicated by another ominous-sounding phenomenon. The Blob, also a massive patch of warm water, is located in the Gulf of Alaska. As Patzert explains in a recent CBC report, it was likely responsible for last year's terrible winter.

Should this El Nino continue to intensify, it might cancel out the effects of the so-called Blob and spare us from the polar vortexes that have visited us the last two winters. The two phenomenon could also negate one another, leaving us with an average winter in Toronto.

Though rest assured Toronto because so far no one, except for the Old Farmer's Almanac, is predicting a particularly cold and snowy winter for us.

Photo by Tom Hartrey in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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