By Connor Lynch
Forecasting an entire season is sometimes more of an art than a science.
But Environment Canada’s David Phillips took a stab, with a somewhat confident prediction of a milder-than-normal winter for Ontario.
It’ll be a continuation of Ontario’s comparatively mild fall and certainly nothing like last year’s blast, he said. Next year, spring should actually happen unlike the 2017-2018 winter that seemed to transition directly to summer.
The warm mass of water off the coast of South America known as El Nino plays a huge role in climate all over the Americas. But it’s a weak system this year, just getting going but hovering in the Pacific Ocean, Phillips said. When it’s hovering, that usually means Ontario gets a milder winter, he said.
Another warm body of water, the flaccidly-named Blob, however, is hovering off the coast of British Columbia, disrupting seasonal forecasts. Last year’s Blob cancelled winter on the west coast but played a large role in frigid conditions in Eastern Canada, said Phillips. Its influence takes a bit of the strength out of any predictions; El Nino should warm things up, the Blob could cool them down. El Nino is weak this year and the Blob is an unpredictable beast.
Snowfall looks to be totally unpredictable this year, he added. Predictions have certainly been made, but the credible science says accurate predictions aren’t possible. Said Phillips: “The science really doesn’t show you anything at all.”
Uncertainty aside, Phillips was fairly confident that winter would be at least somewhat milder than normal, and certainly nothing like last year’s blast.