A major pattern reversal is on the way for next week as we kick off the month of February. Please read on for details on what that will mean for your area.
First, here is a quick recap of what we have seen so far this winter. The season has featured two very distinct, persistent, and opposing patterns. From early December through early January, western Canada was in the grips of classic Canadian winter weather with frigid and even record-breaking cold temperatures.
Meanwhile, very mild weather dominated across the eastern half of the country. The various shades of orange on the temperature anomaly map below highlight the above-seasonal temperatures while the various shades of blue, green, and violet highlight the below-seasonal temperatures from early December through early January.
However, as we approached mid-January, we saw a dramatic national pattern reversal. The frigid weather shifted east into Ontario and Quebec while much milder weather spread across western Canada. Atlantic Canada has continued to see changeable temperatures. Here is the temperature anomaly pattern that we have seen during the past two weeks.
This pattern will persist for a few more days. Here is a model forecast for the final five days of January.
However, at the start of next week a pattern reversal will bring much colder weather back to western Canada for a few days. Meanwhile, very mild weather will surge north into Ontario and Quebec. Temperatures will climb well above freezing across southern parts of this region.
However, unlike the previous pattern changes, this one will not lock into place. The Arctic air across the Prairies will quickly spread east into Ontario and Quebec and clash with mild air across the region.
As a result, southern and eastern Ontario and southern Quebec will become the battleground between the warm air and the Arctic air. A couple of moisture laden systems are expected to track along this boundary during the middle and end of next week.
Unfortunately, it is too early to have confidence in exactly where this boundary will set-up later next week. Just a minor change in the position of the boundary will have a huge impact on your local experience if you are in this region.
Areas south of the boundary will be very mild with the potential for heavy rain. Areas well north of the boundary will see heavy snow. In between, we will see a messy mix of rain, ice and snow with a risk for substantial amounts of freezing rain and ice pellets.
So, if you live in this region, especially if you have any travel plans, please check back for updates as we head into next week. You will likely see significant changes to the forecast during the next several days as we finetune the forecast.
The messy weather is expected to track into Atlantic Canada late next week and into the weekend. However, temperatures will be rather mild and rain should dominate across much of the region.
After an active and messy end to next week, cold weather is expected to return to Ontario and Quebec, then spread into the Maritimes for several days. Meanwhile, mild weather will return to western Canada.
As we look ahead into the second week of February, it looks like the weather pattern will make a second attempt at flipping around, with colder weather returning to western Canada and milder weather surging back into Ontario and Quebec as we head towards mid-month
Will this pattern reversal have more staying power and dominate the end of winter? Please check back on Tuesday, February 1st for the release of our monthly forecast as we look ahead at what we expect for the rest of February.