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After A Nice Fall: Will We See Another Severe Winter?

When should I shovel?

I have gathered a few interim statistics for the three capital cities, which show that overall we had a warm Fall (Sept-Oct-Nov). September was particularly warm, with Fredericton high temperatures running 4C above normal. While October was closer to normal, November was once again warmer than average… about 1.5C above normal.

Precipitation was variable, with Fredericton having a wet September, and Halifax a wet October. We have been lucky, with no significant winter weather as of yet.

interim Fall statistics

interim Fall statistics

If we look at the sea surface temperatures, they remain well above normal. This should help December to remain on the mild side. Computer models are in agreement…

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Sea Surface Temperature anomalies

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December Forecast (red above normal)

The Environment Canada 3 month winter forecast is pretty confident that the winter will have above normal temperatures. The skill of this prediction has not been very good for the last couple of winters. The El Nino is very very strong in the eastern Pacific. There is normally less confidence that the warm signal from El Nino will have a consistent impact on Atlantic Canada. I suspect there will be a lot of variability in the weather in January and February as cold outbreaks interacting with the warm ocean result in some intense storms with mixed heavy precipitation and strong winds.  Not great for travelling… but we’ll see what Mother nature blesses us with…

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Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 9.19.50 PM

Notwithstanding what takes place after the New year, 2015 will assuredly be the warmest year on the global historical record… a fact certainly being taken seriously by world leaders in Paris.

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Now back to reality.  Even in an above normal regime, we will get messy weather. I’m still keeping an eye on a change to snow in many spots Thursday night.

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Stay safe

About Jim Abraham

Jim has spent about 40 years in the weather business. He has been an operational forecaster from Halifax to Whitehorse. Jim started the Canadian Hurricane Centre, and has flown into a couple of these storms. As a senior executive within Environment Canada, Jim has managed weather research, weather services, and weather/water/climate observing programs. Retired from Environment Canada, Jim is the Atlantic Director for the Canadian Climate Forum, the president of the Halifax chapter of the Canadian Meteorological & Oceanographic Society, a partner in Climaction Services, and a part-time meteorologist on CBC radio. He is still participating in national and international activities related to weather preparedness. Having witnessed unprecedented advances in the science and technology of meteorology. Jim hopes that this blog will also be educational; enabling users to better understand weather-related phenomena, better interpret available information, and ultimately better able to make decisions to protect themselves, their family and their property. Jim welcomes any questions and suggestions.


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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