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winter forecast 2023

Toronto's official 2023 winter weather forecast just dropped and it's a doozy

Toronto is expected to get really, really cold in the weeks ahead, according to meteorologists — but milder temperatures could be in store once we reach the new year... followed by more cold, and then more warm, and more stress all around over which coat to wear as conditions fluctuate every week.

Yes, for the third year in a row, Canada's winter will be heavily impacted by a La Niña pattern, according to The Weather Network, making for a messy and rather diverse mix of conditions over the next three or four months.

"Warm weather has dominated across Canada through most of the fall season. However, the past few weeks have featured an abrupt transition into a period of wintry weather for most Canadians," writes Dr. Doug Gillham in The Weather Network's freshly-released 2022-2023 long-range winter forecast.

"Is this sudden flip to cold and snowy weather a warning of what's to come this winter?"

I, for one, hope not — and these hopes may not be unfounded.

According to Gillham, a "strong start to the winter season is anticipated" across much of Canada, with colder-than-normal temperatures prevailing through most of December. We can thank not only La Niña but another polar vortex for that bit of pain.

"A piece of the polar vortex is expected to be located over northern Canada, providing an abundant source for Arctic air that should frequently plunge south and spread across much of the country during December," explains the network.

"We expect that once we get into January and February, however, winter will take a couple of breaks with periods of mild weather, especially from southern Ontario to Newfoundland and Labrador."

Hey, that's us! Hoorah!

Ontario, specifically, is expected to see its trademark "changeable temperatures" in December — you know, when it goes from summer to winter overnight or vice-versa.

Overall, however, the province should see "colder-than-normal temperatures dominating into the holidays," with some heavy rounds of lake-effect snow factored into the mix. 

While too early to predict a white Christmas, the forecast certainly suggests that such a thing is possible.

Harsh winter conditions could "take a break at times during January and February with the potential for an extended thaw across southern areas," according to Gillham, but that doesn't necessarily mean smooth sailing, as there is still a potential for active storm tracks to bring "above-normal precipitation totals to the region."

Ski resorts could either be rolling in the white stuff or battening down the hatches against freezing rain and ice, depending on how this precipitation falls. 

The bottom line is that most Canadians should gear up for a "two-faced winter," as Gillham puts it, featuring both extended periods of harsh weather and extended periods of milder weather.

But what else is new in Toronto, am I right?

Lead photo by

Venrick Azcueta

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