Joining the choir of forecasts calling for a warmer than normal winter, Canada’s Weather Network has released their 2015/2016 winter forecast, predicting mild temperatures and normal rainfall levels for B.C.’s South Coast.
Across B.C., above seasonal temperatures will blanket the province for much of the winter, leading to below average snowfall. The South Coast, including Metro Vancouver, will stay warmer but won’t see much more rain than normal. The northern part of the West Coast will have above average precipitation.
There will be fewer rainy days than normal, but more frequent Pinapple Express rain storms, bringing rainfall levels into the normal range.
The Weather Network adds that the forecast is not meant to be a warning of another catastrophic ski season:
“While the anticipated pattern for the winter as a whole is not ideal for skiers, it is a lot more favourable than what we saw last year. This season is already off to a much better start and the pattern for early December looks favourable for further building up of early season bases at most resorts which is great news as we head towards the Holidays.”
Across Canada, the Prairies and Northern Ontario will see much milder temperatures, offering a break from their traditionally frosty winters, at least for the first half of the season. Below average snowfall is also expected between Alberta and Northern Ontario and temperatures in the Maritimes will stay near or below seasonal.
The milder forecast is driven by the El Nino pattern that formed in the Pacific in the spring, which scientists believe may be the strongest ever recorded. According to climate data, this summer was the warmest on record for the Northern Hemisphere, averaging 0.96°C above average.
Ocean temperatures have also continued to rise to 1.5°C above normal. The last time oceans were this warm was in 1997/1998 when temperatures rose to 2.3°C above normal, the warmest ever recorded.
Just recently, Vancouver broke a long-standing record for longest period without snow. It has been 367 days since the city last received snow, on November 29, 2014. According to The Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton, a year-long “snow drought” has not happened for at least 25 years.
Of course, snow could still arrive if the conditions are right.