Expect temperatures in Calgary to swing back-and-forth throughout a winter that’s slightly colder than average, the Weather Network warns.
According to the network’s seasonal forecast released Monday, it’ll be chillier than normal throughout southern Alberta over the coming months, but with periods of reprieve mixed in.
“We expect a colder-than-normal winter, but the pattern will break down at times,” said meteorologist Doug Gillham. “We have above normal temperatures forecast for the B.C. coast and at times that milder Pacific air will spread into Alberta.”
The same goes for precipitation this winter, when much of the province’s southern portion can expect above-average snowfall, especially in the Rocky Mountains, he said.
“It’s overall good news for skiers,” Gillham noted.
Average levels of snowfall are in the longterm forecast for Calgary, but that could mean more flakes than usual after it’s all said and done when factoring in storms that already hit throughout the fall.
Gillham said Calgarians are used to drastic weather shifts, with November proving to be no exception.
“Those back-and-forth swings are typical so you’ll see that this winter to some extent, but you’ll be frozen more often than you’re thawed and I think the temperatures will tip more to the cold side of normal,” he said.
“It’s a little bit more of a harsh winter than the average without being, likely, one of your more memorable and more severe winters.”
The Weather Network’s winter forecast predicts it will be a long, cold winter across much of Canada, especially in the southern parts of the Prairies. The trend of a deep freeze will be felt through Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where meteorologists expect cold air to anchor down for the season.
But things are looking a little better in B.C., where temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal.
However, there may still be a two-week period where winter shows up out of the blue on the Pacific coast. Conditions will also likely be favourable in B.C.’s ski areas, despite the slightly higher temperatures.
From southern Ontario to southern Quebec, people can prepare for a winter that’s colder than usual and has much more precipitation than normal.
In Atlantic Canada, the Weather Network predicted it won’t be bitterly cold, but it will be a very stormy season.
Nunavut and the Northwest Territories will likely experience average winter conditions, which bucks a recent trend of warmer-than-usual winters in the Far North. In Yukon, a warmer winter is still expected.
Yukon and B.C. are the only parts of the country where spring could show up early in 2020, as the rest of the country should get ready for a harsh and prolonged season, according to the forecast.
Gillham said the seasonal prediction tries to answer questions of “how will the season be remembered?”
He compared the Weather Network’s forecast to pre-season hockey predictions, noting day-to-day weather is anyone’s guess beyond the seven-day forecast.
“It would be foolish to sit down and predict which games the Calgary Flames will win or lose through the course of a season, but often you have a good handle based on who’s coming back, maybe who you traded for,” Gillham said.
“Is this the year that you contend for the Stanley Cup, is this the year where you’re just fighting for the playoffs, or is this the year where you think you’re going to get a really good draft pick because you’re contending for the basement?”
—With files from the Canadian Press