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Another Mild Month: What About The Winter Ahead?

When should I shovel?

After a warmer than normal summer, Fall continues above normal, with most locations having high temperatures 1.5 to 2C above normal.  Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 7.05.37 AM

Rainfall statistics were quite remarkable.  The Thanksgiving rainstorm provided more than a month’s rainfall for some areas. Halifax and Charlottetown both had a wet month, and Sydney’s total for October ended up being more than double the average after the more than 200mm with the Thanksgiving flood.  Further west, rainfall amounts were near normal.  While this is better for drought-stricken perts of southwest Nova Scotia, there is still need for some wet weather in November.

As we enter November, water temperatures are above normal off both the west and east coasts of Canada.   In the challenging business of seasonal forecasting, folks like AccuWeather and The Weather Network are providing some outlooks:

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 7.15.52 AM

Weather Network outlook

Accuweather Outlook

AccuWeather Outlook

These are reasonable patterns given the warm waters on each coast.

I am concerned that any cold spells over Ontario-Quebec will provide the cold air for storms (Nor’Easters) affecting Atlantic Canada.  This could result in higher than normal snowfalls over the Maritimes for this upcoming winter.

Recall that extreme snowfalls exceeded snow-load building codes with numerous roof collapses (http://yhzweatherguy.ca/record-snowfalls-do-we-really-know-how-much/).  I have spoken with insurance experts.  It is possible that a large number of roofs that did not collapse, may have been damaged… with the damage not yet detected.  Any above normal snow, or rain on snow, may result in a high number of roof collapses due to compromised structures from Winter 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.56.59 PM

If you can inspect your roof or deck, that would be a good idea.  You might also want to arrange for a contractor ahead of time, so you are prepared to remove any build-up of snow and ice.

I’ll be sharing the snow weight information collected from CoCoRaHS volunteers who measure the amount of water in the snowpack. It is disturbing no government agency collects this information to warn the public of roof collapse risk.  I hope roofs in public buildings like schools, rinks, and hospitals, have been inspected for damage after Winter 2015.

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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