Monday, January 30, 2012

Canada; What happened to winter?

Here’s one thing you probably know: Most Canadians are going without the sustained cold and blustering snow by which we define our winters, if not the nation.

But here’s another thing you probably don’t: The culprit is a mercurial weather pattern called the Arctic oscillation.

In Toronto, just 11 days have remained below freezing since the fall, compared with an average of 28 during the same period. The number of freezing days in Halifax has fallen by half, and even the Prairies, which recently experienced a sudden, week-long cold snap, are returning to warmer-than-average temperatures this week.

“It’s been a bit of a whipsaw from last winter to this winter,” NASA researcher Bill Patzert said. “You can definitely blame the Arctic oscillation for that.” Read More