So here was my map for temperatures:
And here was the actual temperature anomalies from normal that occurred from November 1 to March 24th:
As you can see the colder than normal temperatures were shifted further west into BC than I thought and the Prairies and east actually ended up slightly warmer than normal.
Here was my map for precipitation:
And here was the actual precipitation anomalies from normal that occurred from November 1 to March 24th:
I had the east and the west above normal and the prairies below normal. In actuality most of the country was normal with a few pockets above normal in the east and west and around Ottawa and northern Ontario. One of the factors I mentioned that could occur is the models were on to something with the warmer temperatures. This was partially true however they were wrong on December (they said warm, but it was actually colder). The bigger factor is that La Nina conditions extend a little longer in the season before turning neutral. Also the Southeast ridge that I mentioned this winter was typically larger than expected pushing storms west across the region, allowing more warm air to flow into Ontario. The winter we experienced wasnt all that out of the ordinary for a La Nina year as shown here:
To break it down, by regions, I said:
BC – ” I expect above normal precipitation this year for the Vancouver area along with temperatures close to above normal. This forecast would be especially true for the first have of winter. Come January/February things may level out to normal.”
I did pretty good with forecast as Vancouver as the area had one of the snowiest winters on record with 69.6 cm of snow (normal is 37.7 cm)
Alberta & the Prairies– “Unfortunately I expect another wild ride this year; things look to turn very cold especially in the north and east of the province (including Edmonton and Fort Mac) in the latter half of winter, with again another winter of possibly below normal snowfall. Calgary looks like it might escape with near normal conditions this winter, but I could see extended periods of very cold weather in January and February.” And:
“Similar to northern and eastern Alberta, this area also looks to bear the brunt of the cold this winter particularly in January and February. I also expect below normal snowfall in most locations, however the extreme northern part of both province may experience closer to normal conditions.”
I got Calgary (95.8 cm of snow recorded, normal is 84.1 cm) correct as it was a pretty normal year but I was wrong on the rest of the province as well Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It was not below normal as expected but actually closer to normal and slightly above. There was cold at times but it didn’t have the staying power expected.
Ontario – “On the whole, I believe most of the province will see closer to normal conditions, except one or two regions. Despite the outlook, this year could feel very much like an above normal snowfall year compared to last year. I expect we will see the bigger impact this winter in January – March, December is a bit of a wild card again this year.”
Well I got the near normal snowfall mostly right, but not the temperature, or the fact that January and February was not the worst of winter, it was actually December.
NW and N. Ontario– “This area will have a similar impact as the Prairies; below average temperatures and below average snowfall. Some forecast don’t have this region getting hit with the cold and below snowfall but I have a feeling bouts of cold air will hit the region from January – March. The exception would be the Sault area as I have feeling the cold northwest air across Lake Superior at times will bring some Lake Effect snow to boost totals.” And:
“This region will likely have a normal winter season with near normal conditions and snowfall… I expect a couple 30 cm storms in this area this winter towards January – February.”
The NW around the Sault did see the above normal snowfall but not the coldest air as I expected. Northern ON was also above normal for snow, but it was slightly warmer than normal.
Central ON and Georgian Bay Areas– “This region will likely have a normal winter season with near normal conditions and snowfall… I expect a couple 30 cm storms in this area this winter towards January – February”. And:
“I expect this area will have normal temperatures however above normal snowfall is expected due to Lake Effect. Because the cold will be nearby in NW Ont and the Prairies I expect outbreaks of cold over the very warm lake will result in a good season.”
This was a pretty decent Lake Effect snow season with multiple outbreaks right through to early March with the Lakes experiencing another warm season with very little ice. The cold was not a strong and consistent as I expected.
Southwest Ontario and the GTA– “I expect this area will have normal temperatures and above normal snowfall is expected due to Lake Effect around the London region, but most other areas are normal… Windsor could be close enough to the cold outbreaks later in January – February and be impacted” And:
“This region will also have a normal winter season with near normal conditions and snowfall. .. Conditions should be much colder this year in January – February compared to last year.”
This is where I was flat out wrong. Although I wasnt the only forecaster to get this wrong. Storms cut west of the Lakes most of the winter bringing lots of rain and mixing to this area. Although there was lots of moisture around, the bigger snowfalls were not. Toronto end up with 78.8 cm of snow but normal is 103.6 cms. Also Hamilton recorded 95.6 cm but 146.9 cm is the norm. Also the big warm ups in January and February really made this feel like an easier winter compared to the “traditional winter” that was expected.
Eastern ON– “This area should have normal temperatures, however there is a chance there is an increase in snowfall as the East coast could be impacted with a couple larger storms, especially from January to March. Hopefully this region does get a good winter as there are numerous dry wells in the areas after months of below normal percp. Watch for a brief colder pattern change in late November, before it changes back to warm period in early December before a larger change mid to late December. Conditions should be much colder this year in January – March compared to last year.”
I got the above normal snowfall for areas around Ottawa right as we recorded 293.7 cm and normal is 208.2 cms. However the temperatures were slightly warmer than normal. Other areas around Eastern ON did not record the above normal snow. Aside from the very warm end of February, this was certainly a traditional winter with snow starting in mid November and right through to the end of March, with snow still on the ground. December was certainly snowy and cold which was nice to see. It was quieter in January with a typical thaw.
Quebec– “This area should also have normal temperatures, however there is a chance there is an increase in snowfall as the East coast could be impacted with a couple larger storms, especially from January to March. Watch for a brief colder pattern change in late November, before it changes back to warm period in early December before a larger change mid to late December. Conditions should be much colder this year in January – March compared to last year.”
Again it was certainly a little snowier than normal, however not as cold as I expected. Montreal recorded 229.3 cm and normal is 194.8 cms.
Maritimes– “This area should have normal temperatures, however there is a chance of increased snowfall as the East coast could be impacted with a couple larger storms, especially from January to March… The exception is the extreme east coast of Nova Scotia which may see less actual snow due to ocean moderation.”
This area also recorded snowier conditions, especially in the January to March period as I indicated, with blizzards even showing up. Saint John recorded 298.2 cm and normal is 217.8 cms and Halifax recorded 357.1 cms and normal is 203 cms. It’s possible this area isn’t done with the snow just yet.
Newfoundland– “This area should have normal temperatures, however there is a chance of increased snowfall as the East coast could be impacted with a couple larger storms, especially from January to March. There is also a chance that temperatures remain above normal due to some influence from the north being above normal. This could result in more rain and mixing storms.”
Newfoundland seen warmer conditions to start the season but the snowier storms started showing up in January with a couple blizzards making an appearance, and they look to not be done with strong storms yet. They certainly did get above normal snowfall with 396.1 cm recorded and normal is 302.8 cm.
That’s it…look forward to doing it again next year.