Forecast predicts less snow in Canada this year
It may not be a white Christmas in Canada after all as a senior climatologist predicts the country will likely see less snow this year.
Dave Phillips issued his winter forecast Tuesday during an interview with CTV's Canada AM.
Phillips said the current weather patters lead him to predict warmer temperatures in the north and the west, near normal conditions in northern Ontario but cooler than typical weather in eastern Canada.
He explained that the season has seen moderate El Nino breezes -- the warm currents that come off the Pacific region. He said when the El Nino breezes are intensely warm, they can make their way all the way to the east coast of Canada but that this year, the tropical weather pattern has only wafted to Winnipeg.
"What happens is that the cold air that is pent up in the North does an end sweep so that we have the east freezing in the dark and the west basking in the sunlight and that's what we're seeing," he said.
But the cold weather doesn't necessarily mean there will be a heavy dumping of snow, he said.
Nonetheless, snow shouldn't be a problem in British Columbia when it hosts the 2010 Olympic Winter Games this February. Phillips said the weather should co-operate nicely, especially in Whistler.
"Whistler is almost immune (to weather patterns). It's so high up -- 1,900 meters -- and it's not affected by these Spanish El Nino breezes.
Snow in T.O.
In Toronto, snow was a no-show in November but the first hours of December saw a light dusting of the white stuff in the city's north end.
The north end of the city saw light snow fall at around 3 a.m., just hours after Toronto ended a month-long streak by not having any traceable amounts of snow on the ground.
According to Environment Canada's records, this is the first time in recorded history - 70 years - that snow has not fallen in the city in November. In an earlier interview, Phillips said some weather records suggest the warmer November weather may have broken a 162-year snow streak.
Snow was also reported throughout Ontario's York region.
Monday night's snow melted by sunrise but nonetheless, the winter weather prompted police to warn commuters about driving at high speeds Tuesday morning and to be mindful of slippery roads.
Environment Canada is predicting more wet flurries in the city for Thursday.