Winter weather in Ottawa will be a ‘little fickle’ this year: Environment Canada

OTTAWA — Environment Canada’s top weather forecaster suggests it will be “hard to put a label” on the winter in Ottawa, adding this week’s weather has been a preview of what is in the forecast for the next three months.

And David Phillips believes Ottawa residents can start dreaming of a white Christmas, after seeing green grass on Dec. 25 last year.

Appearing on CTV Morning Live Friday morning, host Rosie Edeh asked Phillips what type of weather Ottawa can expect this winter.

“I think this kind of winter that we’re seeing is – what we’ve seen is what we’re going to get. Kind of a little fickle and fitful, hard to put a label on the winter. I think it’s not going to be memorable from a brutally cold or a balmy kind of winter, I think there will be something for everybody,” said Phillips.

“You’ll get a certain amount of snow, and you’ll get rain, you’ll freezing rain – it will be a real mixed bag. I think it will make winter go faster when it’s very changeable and variable, but it’s hard to plan your activities based on such an up and down kind of weather scene that we see this coming winter.”

Ottawa has received approximately 20 centimetres of snow this week, along with some rain and freezing rain. Phillips admits it’s been an “interesting, unsettled week” in the capital.

“My gosh you’ve had every bit of precipitation you can imagine – you’ve had some rain, light freezing rain, you’ve had misty, you’ve had snow. It’s been just that right from Sunday right through till now,” said Phillips.

“The break is going to be this coming Sunday, when you see temperatures that are going to be five or six degrees warmer than normal and the sunshine is going to appear. Look out, because Monday we see a significant weather system coming in.”

Phillips says the track of Monday’s weather system is still unknown, but right now Environment Canada is calling for mostly rain.

Edeh asked Phillips if Ottawa will have a green Christmas this year.

“Probably the most asked question in the weather office, ‘are we going to have a white Christmas?,” said Phillips, noting it’s easy to predict a white Christmas in Nunavut or the Northwest Territories.

“In Ottawa, it’s kind of different; you didn’t have a white Christmas last year. So my sense is that maybe you’ll have one this year, because rarely do you get two Christmases in a row that are green.”

Over the past 65 years, there’s been an 80 per cent chance of a white Christmas in Ottawa. Phillips says in the last few years, it has been closer to about a 73 per cent chance of a white Christmas.

“I think there’s still lots of time in December to bring you that snow, and my sense is I think it will be a white Christmas,” said Phillips.

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