toronto weather

Toronto's extended winter weather forecast just dropped and it's a doozy

It's safe to say people in Toronto are dreading winter even more than usual this year thanks to the widespread closures of gyms, bars, theatres, restaurants and other indoor recreational spaces.

For many of us, spending time outdoors has been a saving grace throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — a welcome escape during an otherwise isolating and stressful time.

Hence, our reluctance to embrace the bone-chilling winds, cloudy skies, icy sidewalks, dirty slush and other gross conditions we're all used to dealing with during the colder months.

Is winter 2020-2021 going to suck? Probably — but if the predicitons of meteorologists are correct, the weather won't add to our misery. Not much.

The Weather Network's 2020-2021 Winter Forecast, released Monday morning, suggests that December, January and February are going to be mild this year in terms of temperatures.

If all goes as predicted, Toronto will experience "record warmth at times" in January and February thanks to "extended thaws with very mild temperatures."

Mild temps may make for pleasant hikes, but you shouldn't go plotting your outdoor fitness routine on a calendar just yet: Precipitation will be all over the place, with several active storm tracks in the mix .

"The most active storm tracks are expected to be into southwestern Canada, and from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes," reads the Weather Network's winter forecast.

"In fact, the most uncertain part of this winter forecast is the amount of snow that we will see from southern Ontario to the southern Maritimes, where mild temperatures will dominate and many storms will bring a threat for ice and rain."

As for when all this water will fall from the sky in its various forms, meteorologists aren't quite clear: Southern Ontario is expected to see "extended periods with little to no snow" while also experiencing "a heightened potential for major winter storms."

"The exact track of these storms will be the key to whether specific places in this region end up with above normal or below normal snowfall," note Weather Network meteorologists, who say that this will be something known as an "analogue year" for winter across the country.

"We can readily see the potential for this winter to be feast or famine for those who enjoy outdoor winter sports from southern Ontario to the Maritimes."

Before this wishy-washy, warmer-than-normal winter weather hits Toronto, however, we can expect about two to three weeks of "typical early winter weather."

A period of heavy snowfall is expected in December, which could spell a white Christmas for much of Southern Ontario before milder temperatures and chaotic storm systems hit in early 2021.

"This winter will feature a wide variety of extreme weather across Canada," said Weather Network Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott on Monday when releasing the forecast.

"Extended periods of mild weather are expected from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes with the potential for record warmth. However, arctic air will also push into these regions from time to time, and an active storm track coast to coast will deliver an abundance of snow and ice to most of Canada."

Lead photo by

Jason Cook


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