Environment Canada predicts a cold December, unsure about the New Year

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It’s going to get colder, but it might not stay that way for long.

Sunday night Woodstock saw its first snow fall of the season after an unseasonably warm November.

Geoff Coulson, meteorologist for Environment Canada, said it looks like its going to be a more active weather pattern over the next few weeks compared to what has been seen so far this fall.

“We’ve had pretty warm temperatures for much of November and December has seen some milder than normal conditions,” he said. “Those milder than normal conditions will persist for the next couple of days, but then we are going to get back into more seasonal temperatures or even somewhat colder than seasonal temperatures for the end of this week and heading into the weekend.”

Coulson said the warm weather was due to the arctic air masses not travelling south toward Ontario.

“In the atmosphere the flow has been more from the southwest or the west, which tends to bring us more milder conditions,” he said. “We haven’t really seen too many conditions where the winds have been coming down from the northwest, the direction where we tend to get our colder air from.”

The weather pattern that the area has been experiencing for the last few weeks has begun to break down, Coulson said, adding that a more traditional fall-like pattern is setting up.

“This implies shots of colder weather and getting back to more seasonal conditions, followed by more cold air coming down after that,” Coulson said. “What this could mean, in addition to the fact that we’re going to see more in the way of precipitation than we have in the last few weeks, we’re also likely to see more potential for a strong lake-effect or snow squall activity.”

Coulson said the Great Lakes have been running notably warmer than normal for the last few weeks and once the colder air starts coming down from the north will cause more snow.

“I think the first significant lake-effect that we could see may actually be as we get into this weekend,” Coulson said. “Tuesday, for example, will be a high of 5°C… but later in the week, as that system pulls by, we’ll start to get into some colder than seasonal weather starting on Thursday.”

Temperatures for Thursday call for a high of -1°C and on Friday a high of -2°C with similar conditions going into the weekend.

Coulson said that December could be cold, but some models are predicting that around Dec. 20 the temperature could come back up a bit. Looking beyond December, Coulson said that there isn’t a lot of agreement for what the New Year could have in store.

“Some indications from some of the models show that we could be looking at more seasonal temperatures, other models actually indicate that temperatures could be a little milder than normal,” he said. “So January at this point in time is a little uncertain as to how we see it unfolding.”




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