Hamiltonians escaped the wrath of Mother Nature last winter, but they shouldn’t expect to get a second reprieve this year.
There won’t be a repeat of last year’s mild-to-non-existent winter, said David Phillips, Environment Canada's senior climatologist, referring to the agency's seasonal outlook for December to February which was released Monday.
The outlook called for a return to chillier temperatures from last year, which was the third warmest winter on record.
But that doesn’t mean we’re going to get a frigid blast from Old Man Winter either, said Phillips.
"We are going to have a milder than normal winter, but [one] colder than last year," he said.
So expect a more temperate winter than average in 2012-2013 — it will be "at least a degree warmer than normal."
By way of an example, Phillips said that normally temperatures in January would mean an average daily high of -1 Celsius and a low of -9. This year, it’s likely we’ll experience a high of 0 or -1, and a low of -8 or -7.
'What’s almost a given is that there will be more of a winter than last year.' —Dave Phillips, Environment Canada
"That doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but you would feel it over a significant period," said Phillips.
Hamiltonians can also expect more snowfall this year than in 2011-2012. Last year, said Phillips, the city only received about 80 cm of snow. This year, we should expect to receive the normal average of about 130 cm.
So far this year, we’ve managed to avoid average rates of snowfall. Phillips pointed out that by the first week of December, the city should have seen about 12 cm of snow. As of today, however, we’ve only gotten about 5 cm.
Phillips said there are no "guarantees" when it comes to predicting Canadian winters. But he added, "what’s almost a given is that there will be more of a winter than last year."