Snow-covered Burns Lake in October. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Colder days ahead — says the winter forecast for the season

AccuWeather’s report suggests a chilling winter for 2020-21

A recently released winter report from AccuWeather could have British Columbians stocking up on more winter supplies.

According to their 2020-21 Canada winter forecast, those living in the western provinces will be experiencing a colder and snowier season. Veteran Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson says in the report that there will be two types of storm tracks this winter. The first of which will leave those in British Columbia and Alberta looking out for snowflakes. This seems to have already arrived with residents getting snow this past week.

The weather service suggests in its report that along with the snow, the presence of a strong jet stream will also likely make conditions windier than normal in British Columbia and Alberta.

Vancouver will be smacked by a higher volume of strong Pacific storms than normal with frequent rounds of locally strong winds and heavy rainfall. The sheer number of storms that the region will face also means a likelihood of significant snowfall for the coastal city, at least by Vancouver standards, Anderson explained.

He also said that farther northwest, residents in Yukon may not get the above-average precipitation as their more southern neighbors, but the region will bear the brunt of colder-than-normal weather.

“In terms of temperatures, the core of the Arctic air is expected to hang out across northern B.C. and the Yukon Territory,” Anderson said in the report which would mean the areas across the Northern B.C. and Yukon would be hit with a bitter winter.

Environment Canada has also given a “colder than usual” winter forecast for Northern BC.

“The big story this year is that we are under La Niña conditions which is more of a global atmospheric phenomenon and the way it affects Western Canada is that winter is colder than average,” said Environment Canada’s Senior Meteorologist Carmen Hartt to Black Press Media.

Hartt also said that the average La Niña lasts nine months and since it started in August they are expecting the weather conditions as a result of it to remain all of winter and well into spring.

“Of course we will see some warm spells and weird warm days but we will just see more cold periods than we usually do,” she said adding that in general December and January are the coldest months in the area and usually the daytime average temperature is around -7 or single digit negatives for those months “and usually it goes up to zero and by night time it goes down to the negative teens.”

However this year Hartt says that they will look at the end of the month averages and compare that with the -7 for more accurate temperatures.

“So it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyday will be colder than that but on average we will have more cool days,” she said.

The Bulkley Valley area has already started getting snow and the area had a colder than usual October although September and the first week of October was warmer than expected said Hartt.

“It would be hard to predict in terms of extremes; I don’t think it would be worst than last year temperature drop-wise but we would see more of those cold days; that’s the most likely scenario,” she said adding that she always hopes that people would still prepare for winter no matter how cold or warm the forecast is. “It is better to be prepared and get ready for sudden cold weather and keep winter kits ready in homes.”

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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