Less snow, more cold in Nova Scotias winter forecast

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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HALIFAX - You may find yourself shoveling less this winter, but you can count on more days of wearing long underwear and toques.
Environment Canada is predicting less snowfall, but cooler than normal temperatures this winter.
The blast of slush and snow we had last week is no sign that we're in for a treacherous winter either, says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada.
"It shouldn't strike fear in your hearts," Phillips said during an recent interview. "There is no association between getting an early November snowfall and it being a hard, cruel winter."
The last two winters dumped higher than average amounts of snow on the province.
Last year, we saw 30 per cent more white stuff than usual. November brought more than three times the normal amount of snowfall.
But, much to the chagrin of skiers and snowboarders, the snow shovels will spend a lot more time upright this year.
"I think less snow shoveling will be welcome," Phillips said.
Still, we're not getting off easy. He says there will be storms and the usual buffet of snow, rain, freezing rain and ice pellets.
Jack Frost will also be leaving his mark more often on windows and doors.
"You'll be spending more money on your home heating bills and there will just be a few more of those days where temperatures fall below minus 20," Phillips said. "Last year, you had five of those suckers."
Phillips said that's because the water off the coast of Nova Scotia and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador is up to three degrees chillier than normal right now.
"That's going to have some sort of refrigerating effect," he said. "There will be moments, of course, where you'll wish you were in Havana or Honolulu."
While that may translate as only one degree cooler than normal for two of the three winter months, it won't go unnoticed.
While other parts of Canada have seen winters affected by El Nino (either much milder or harsher), Phillips said Nova Scotia isn't affected because most of our weather patterns come from the Arctic or Atlantic Ocean and tend to be more short-term and marine influenced.

ljones@hfxnews.ca

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Nova Scotias, HALIFAX, Nova Scotia Newfoundland and Labrador Havana Honolulu Canada Arctic Atlantic Ocean

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