AMHERST – It’s shaping up to be a classic Canadian winter for most Maritimers with above normal temperatures and precipitation.
Whether that translates into a white or wet winter could depend on a degree or two, says The Weather Network meteorologist Erin Wenckstern.
“When we say a classic winter for the Maritimes that usually means a lot of things like ice, rain and snow. It won’t just be straight snow or all rain, but we are calling for a classic Canadian winter for the Maritimes with above normal precipitation and above average temperatures,” Wenckstern said. “While we may be saying above average temperatures that doesn’t mean mild. We’re going to have those ups and downs with the temperatures.”
A weak to moderate La Nina off the Pacific coast of South America is expected to result in a wild winter for many Canadians with cold and stormy weather expected for the west and above normal precipitation from Ontario to the Maritimes.
Wenckstern said it’s tough to answer whether it will be snowier than normal since each storm system will have its own impacts and personality. There will be periods of wet, mild weather, but she cautioned there will definitely be a few snowstorms – albeit much tamer than the winter of 2014-15 when three storms in a week dumped more than 100 centimetres on many Maritime locales.
“We’re looking at above normal precipitation and at times you will see your fair share of winter weather,” Wenckstern said. “But there will be some warm spells so you shouldn’t see that type of epic snowfall this year. You won’t see that persistent cold that’s needed to feed that snow without any snowmelt. You’ll have warm-ups and cool downs.”
While most of the fall to date has been very pleasant with warmer than normal temperatures, The Weather Network meteorologist said the forecast is suggesting a stormy start to winter – although she’s not ready to predict whether Santa Claus will have snow this Christmas.
“We are calling for a bit more of a stormy, more of an active start to the winter season,” she said. “We’ve had a very warm and dry stretch for the last few months, but heading into December we’re going to see a very active storm track become more apparent across the region. You’re still going to see those ups and downs, but you may see more winter weather in the forecast.”
The Weather Network forecast varies slightly from the 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac that’s leaning toward a wetter and warmer winter with near average or below average snowfall in the Maritimes.
U.S. forecaster AccuWeather is predicting near normal snowfall and above normal temperatures while Environment Canada’s preliminary forecast is suggesting a mild winter – although there will be periods when it will definitely feel like winter.
Environment Canada’s official winter forecast is released in early December.