Winter Toronto

How bad will this winter be in Toronto?

As winter-like weather descends on Toronto, a big question on the city's collective mind is how bad will it get this year? We've already heard early reports that a nasty season is in store for the city and other parts of the country, but as December 21 creeps closer, climatologists have been honing their forecasts in anticipation of the official start of winter.

For better or worse, the upcoming season is predicted to be a "classic Canadian winter." What does that mean? Well, according the Weather Network, we can expect "widespread temperatures near or below seasonal normal, along with an active winter storm season... For southern Ontario and Quebec, a snowy winter is on the way, with considerably more precipitation than last year."

The silver lining is that we're not looking at a brutal winter, just one that is forecasted to be considerably worse than what we experienced last year, which was relatively mild, historically speaking. There will, however, be plenty of nastiness in store with above average precipitation called for in the Toronto area.

Obviously long term forecasting is tricky business. How can meteorologist predict what's going to happen in February if they can't get the 48 hour forecast right? The key to these reports is that they confine themselves to highlighting major trends. In this case, a weak La Nina event is the driving factor in winter projections for 2016/2017.

So there you have it. If you're a glass-half-full type, you'll take solace in the fact that forecasters don't expect us to get shelled by winter weather this year. If, on the other hand, you're of the glass-half-empty variety, you'll likely despair at the prospect of a winter that's going to dump a lot more snow on us than we dealt with last year.

Photo by Kevin Konnyu in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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