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> Winter 2012-13 Canada, Topic Closed; Winter in Progress
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post Feb 15 2012, 03:59 PM
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Now I wanted to focus on next Winter because I dont like this Winter at all, to sort of lighten the mood up in here. Now I know next Winter is 3 seasons away but I'm more of Winter type of guy since I mostly like chilling in the summer in the hot temps and perhaps following severe wx but severe wx is no where near fun as tracking Winter storms.

Over the next couple of days I will analyze different possible variables for next Winter.

Remember analogues are useful but two winters are never alike. there good for references.

lets hope for da best smile.gif

This post has been edited by Snowstorms: Feb 15 2012, 04:00 PM
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bigmt
post Feb 16 2012, 09:27 AM
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This is going to be tough to make any definitive predictions about but it's worth considering the possibilities as long as we stay open-minded.

There are seasonal models which can give some clue but they are limited in their skill level. First, the CFS v2 for the upcoming fall.

Temps:

Attached File  usT2mSea.gif ( 6.72K ) Number of downloads: 5


Precip:

Attached File  usPrecSea.gif ( 6.8K ) Number of downloads: 3


EC issues forecasts out to next winter as well but they aren't much better than chance.

Temps:

Attached File  ccatemp_12_s.gif ( 85.12K ) Number of downloads: 3


Precip:

Attached File  ccapcpn_12_s.gif ( 81.27K ) Number of downloads: 2


A look at ENSO possibilities in my next post.
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bigmt
post Feb 16 2012, 09:52 AM
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The CFS v2 plumes have a wide spread in terms of ENSO conditions with a few outlying members pushing for a strong El Nino event, but most staying near-neutral or a weak event of either variety.

Attached File  enso2.jpg ( 117.51K ) Number of downloads: 1


The CFS v1 is more tightly clustered.

Attached File  enso4.jpg ( 105.14K ) Number of downloads: 1


Probabilistic forecasts from the latest CPC report show a weakening Nina through the spring, neutral conditions into the summer and a roughly 30% chance of any of the three by next fall with ENSO-neutral very slightly favoured:

Attached File  enso1.jpg ( 123.3K ) Number of downloads: 0


Winter temperature distribution based on ENSO state, neutral giving the best chance for cold overall:

Attached File  temp.seas.jfm.b50.e08.div.005.png ( 12.03K ) Number of downloads: 1


Winter precip distribution based on ENSO state, La Nina heavily favoured for wetter-than-normal:

Attached File  precip.seas.jfm.b50.e08.div.005.png ( 11.2K ) Number of downloads: 0


A third Nina can't be ruled out by any stretch yet either, there have been 3 trifectas of multi-year Ninas since 1950:

Attached File  enso3.jpg ( 75.4K ) Number of downloads: 1
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bigmt
post Feb 16 2012, 10:01 AM
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To summarize, at this early stage of the game all options are on the table for next winter. Personally I think either a neutral-slightly warm ENSO or perhaps a third Nina are the two most likely outcomes but we'll have to watch SST's through the summer & fall to see if perhaps a more robust El Nino could develop.

It can't get much worse than this winter and overall we've had a string of underperformers lately so perhaps mother nature is saving a real blockbuster for us. When and if the AMO flips to it's cold state (this is very difficult to predict in terms of exact timing) and we have both the PDO and AMO together in negative episodes then we can really expect some impressive cold. Snowstorms had graphics depicting the differences in the winter 2011-12 topic.

Or perhaps the climate has indeed changed and we are experiencing the 'new normal' for winter in Canada, but we'll need more data into the future to be anywhere near certain of this.
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travis3000
post Feb 16 2012, 12:01 PM
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El Ninos are bad news for S. Ontario. I sure hope that's not the case or next winter could be pretty depressing again.


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Dave_182
post Feb 16 2012, 12:07 PM
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If it's an El Nino year like 2002-03, I'll be a happy man.

Surely, it can't be as horrid as this Winter has been.
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bigmt
post Feb 16 2012, 12:26 PM
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Much depends on the intensity of a possible El Nino in terms of winter temperatures.

Weak Nino:

Attached File  Tmean_weak_oni_f__2_.gif ( 45.4K ) Number of downloads: 0


Strong Nino:

Attached File  Tmean_strong_oni_f__2_.gif ( 49.18K ) Number of downloads: 0


A weak El Nino doesn't generally deliver as widespread warmth through Southern Canada as a moderate-strong one, although each individual event seems to have it's own personality.

Most warm events bring drier than normal conditions but there's considerable spread there as well. A look at Toronto and Ottawa precip based on moderate-to-strong ENSO states:

Toronto:

Attached File  toronto.gif ( 10.64K ) Number of downloads: 1


Ottawa:

Attached File  ottawa.gif ( 10.59K ) Number of downloads: 0


I think a strong El Nino for this upcoming winter is one of the less likely outcomes; the evolution of sea surface temps in the Pacific through the summer and fall will give more reliable indications. Basically anything is possible this far out.
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Ryan45
post Feb 16 2012, 01:17 PM
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Lol we had more snow in Winter 2009-10 than this year i swear and that year was an el nino..


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bigmt
post Mar 7 2012, 11:50 AM
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There are some growing expectations of an El Nino later this year so I thought it might be interesting to have a look at the latest CPC weekly update available here:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/*bleep*...s-fcsts-web.pdf

There's certainly some drastic shifts in terms of sea surface temp anomalies in the last month or so.

Attached File  sst.jpg ( 161.13K ) Number of downloads: 0


The CFS v1 seems to favour a neutral or weak warm episode.

Attached File  cfs_v1.jpg ( 106.89K ) Number of downloads: 0


However the CFS v2 is clustered towards a possible stronger event.

Attached File  cfs_v2.jpg ( 113.62K ) Number of downloads: 0


A strong El Nino wouldn't be a great outlook for winter weather enthusiasts (warm and dry generally for Canada, you can scroll back to an earlier post to see the differences illustrated) but a weaker one isn't necessarily a bad thing. The winter of 02-03 was relentlessly cold for the east, albeit mild for a good deal of the west.

http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default....n=CEEE807F-1#t3

A Long, Cold Winter Grips Eastern Canada

QUOTE
As mild El Nino breezes waffled across British Columbia and Alberta, and occasionally as far east as Manitoba, most of Eastern Canada remained in a deep freeze for the winter making it one of the coldest and longest winters in 20 years. The frigid weather caused record levels of power consumption, as customers cranked up the thermostat to beat back the cold.

Just in case Eastern Canada had forgotten how harsh winter could be, Mother Nature zapped Montreal with 24 raw days this winter (last winter no temperatures dipped below -20C in Montreal), most often accompanied by strong winds producing high wind chills. In Toronto, last year's lowest winter temperature was -14C. This year, there were 32 days colder than that. The city rang up nine cold weather alerts, many with multiple days of penetrating cold. Technically, Ottawa and Montreal had a January thaw - one day. On New Year's Day, Ottawa's maximum temperature made it to 0.1C, but freezing temperatures continued for the next 76 days in a row.

School "snow days" became a regular issue in Eastern Canada, either because of too much snow, brutal wind chills or frozen pipes. Despite piles of snow and the record number of days with snow in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence region, there was a winter drought underway with the region tallying its lowest winter precipitation total in 56 years of record-keeping. Precipitation was 40% below normal with virtually no rainfall to speak of. It snowed hard at times and often. In Toronto, 70 of the 90 days from December 1 to the end of February recorded at least a trace of snow - a daily reminder that winter was long and holding.


An El Nino is still far from guaranteed at this early juncture but we should stay on the lookout through the year to see what unfolds because ENSO will likely play a key role in determining next winter's conditions, along with the other factors such as AO, NAO and PNA which are impossible to predict accurately at this range. Just a look at the possibilities to keep things updated smile.gif
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knorthern_knight
post Mar 7 2012, 03:16 PM
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QUOTE(bigmt @ Mar 7 2012, 11:50 AM) *
A strong El Nino wouldn't be a great outlook for winter weather enthusiasts (warm and dry generally for Canada, you can scroll back to an earlier post to see the differences illustrated) but a weaker one isn't necessarily a bad thing. The winter of 02-03 was relentlessly cold for the east, albeit mild for a good deal of the west.

An El Nino is still far from guaranteed at this early juncture but we should stay on the lookout through the year to see what unfolds because ENSO will likely play a key role in determining next winter's conditions, along with the other factors such as AO, NAO and PNA which are impossible to predict accurately at this range. Just a look at the possibilities to keep things updated smile.gif


Some time ago, I noticed that there seems to be a 12-year cycle in the NINO34 data. Here's a plot of weekly values from 1990 to present. The dark blue is the actual data, the mauve is the same data, offset back 626 weeks (approx 12 years). From mid-1993 (versus mid-2005) to March 2000 (versus March 2012) the correlation coefficient is 0.875, which is not too shabby. Assuming the 12-year cycle continues, we should see ENSO...
  • neutral conditions summer 2012 (echoing summer of 2000)
  • a mild La Nina fall and earlywinter 2012-2013 (echoing fall of 2000 and early winter 2001)
  • then bouncing around neutral, until taking off for an El Nino late-spring of 2014 (echoing 2002)

So winter 2000-2001 is the analogue to look at. There's obviously more involved than ENSO (e.g. PDO/AMO/etc), so the ENSO is not the full story, but it's a beginning.

Attached File  enso3.png ( 88.28K ) Number of downloads: 4


This post has been edited by knorthern_knight: Mar 7 2012, 03:18 PM
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bigmt
post Mar 7 2012, 05:47 PM
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QUOTE(knorthern_knight @ Mar 7 2012, 03:16 PM) *
Some time ago, I noticed that there seems to be a 12-year cycle in the NINO34 data. Here's a plot of weekly values from 1990 to present. The dark blue is the actual data, the mauve is the same data, offset back 626 weeks (approx 12 years). From mid-1993 (versus mid-2005) to March 2000 (versus March 2012) the correlation coefficient is 0.875, which is not too shabby. Assuming the 12-year cycle continues, we should see ENSO...
  • neutral conditions summer 2012 (echoing summer of 2000)
  • a mild La Nina fall and earlywinter 2012-2013 (echoing fall of 2000 and early winter 2001)
  • then bouncing around neutral, until taking off for an El Nino late-spring of 2014 (echoing 2002)
So winter 2000-2001 is the analogue to look at. There's obviously more involved than ENSO (e.g. PDO/AMO/etc), so the ENSO is not the full story, but it's a beginning.


Great stuff! I've pondered 1999-00 as an analog for a while (all the way back to November in the winter thread I believe) so I concur with your thoughts. It was in the back of my mind as an example of how La Nina can fail to deliver for us and the worst-case scenario came to fruition after all. If we extend your thoughts of summer 2000 to summer 2012 then a lot of people won't be too impressed.

The winter would hold a lot of promise, however. It looked like this:

Attached File  209.87.238.179.66.15.30.41.png ( 12.84K ) Number of downloads: 1


Early Start to Winter 2000-2001

http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default....n=CE6ACEC1-1#t9

QUOTE
Across Canada, the first tastes of winter occurred three weeks before the official start of the season. On December 1, an early winter storm swept across eastern Newfoundland. St. John's got close to 56 cm, along with 90 km/h winds. Thousands of customers were left without power. During the first week of December, a "polar pig" or Arctic outbreak squealed into western and central Canada bringing Alberta its coldest temperatures in about three years. The deepest freeze occurred in the Northwest Territories, where Fort Simpson recorded a low of -43C. In Northern Manitoba, the bitter cold combined with strong winds to produce a ferocious blizzard and wind chills below -70C. With the sudden onslaught of winter, residents, who were already paying up to 60% more for natural gas and heating oil than last year, cranked up their thermostats, consuming 50% more energy than the same time last year.

A mammoth storm struck Ontario and Quebec on December 11-12, dumping between 20 and 50 cm of snow. Two days later, a second storm left residents digging out from knee-deep drifts. The weather didn't bring the troops to Toronto, but it did cause traffic gridlock and the greatest number of flight cancellations in almost two years. It was an evening rush-hour mess in the Greater Toronto Area and similar road havoc the next morning in Ottawa and Montreal. Three-quarters of the flights into and out of the three cities were cancelled. Schools, shops and services closed from Windsor to Quebec City. In Sarnia the week's heavy snow of between 50 to 60 cm with monstrous drifts caused the roof of a store to collapse, killing an employee. The storm continued eastward bringing deep snows to northern New Brunswick and heavy rains and strong winds to the rest of the Maritimes. Power outages throughout the region were common, and traffic was halted on the Confederation Bridge between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. By the end of the week, winter's clutches had reached British Columbia. Up to 15 cm of snow blanketed some Vancouver suburbs and gale-force winds knocked down power lines in the Lower Mainland and on southern Vancouver Island, cutting power to 100,000 customers. The storm then turned into a fierce blizzard as it swept eastward across the Prairies.

All this and the first day of winter was still a week away.


The Never-ending Winter

http://www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather/default....n=1DE844DD-1#t2

QUOTE
For the first time in more than 20 years, Easterners experienced an old-fashioned Canadian winter - cold, snowy and long. Record snowfalls and bitterly cold temperatures last December, followed by two or three months without a serious thaw, left most residents begging for spring.

In downtown Toronto, the snowcover finally disappeared on the first day of spring, marking the end of a 104-day stretch of snow on the ground - the longest on record in 130 years. Montreal had 281 cm of snow - the greatest yearly total in a quarter century. Atlantic Canada also had its share of snow records: huge amounts, a continuous cover and spent removal budgets. The heavy snow and lack of rain allowed snow to pile up, buckling several roofs. School closings or "snow days" numbered as many as eight in some districts. Physiotherapists reported a record number of tennis-elbow cases in shovel-weary patients. Retailers boasted banner sales for roof rakes, ice scrapers, snowblowers and wiper blades, and manufacturers of windshield washer fluids couldn't keep up with demand.

But nobody had it worse than St. John's! Newfoundland's capital city was directly in the path of almost every winter storm that crossed North America. From the first few flakes of snow on November 22, 2000 to the final flurries on May 26, a grand total of 648.4 cm accumulated, breaking a more than century-old record. It was likely the greatest snowfall for a city of comparable size anywhere in the world. With storms averaging one every four days, city crews ran out of places to stack it (no wonder considering that, if packed as a snowball, the total snowfall would measure two kilometres across). Over 500 million tonnes of snow fell on the city, enough to fill 3,200 SkyDomes. Reluctant to call in the army, the Mayor appealed to municipalities in Eastern Canada to send a squadron of snow blowers and ploughs to his snowbound city.


Quite an act to follow, but anything even remotely similar for winter 2012-13 would seem incredible after the horrendous one we just suffered through.
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Regg
post Mar 7 2012, 07:59 PM
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It's not the first time a link is established between the solar cycle and the NINO34 condition. Bob Tisdale wrote a three part document about it in 2008 and others made similar remarks earlier than that. There is a definite link between them with some exceptions and a very short lag (could be normal given how slow the ocean response - water - can be).

But we always have to remember that NINO34 is part of the natural variability of the weather/climate. As such, NINO34 is not the source of the warming outside his natural cycle. In other words, if Nina years are warmer today than the warmest Nino before 1998, it's just that NINO34 is has much affected by the current warming as anything else.

Having said that, the largest warming observed is happening at mid latitude and going to the poles, while Nino34 is a phenomena happening mainly at the equator. Still some work to do to complete the picture here.

Also remember that Nino34 conditions is ''declared'' upon a SST average and the deviation from that average. The average is going up, so it means that even when we're going on a LaNina conditions today, the SST is warmer today than it was 50 years ago. It goes almost to the point where a Nina SST today would have been a Nino SST 50 years ago. Quite something to think about.
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nordicWX
post Mar 8 2012, 03:03 AM
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When do you think this warming trend will end? (2020?) Or, are we all just going to end up being cooked?

Anyone notice the media has really been amping up the "Climate Change" agenda the last few days?

Yesterday the story was that we'll never be able to play hockey outdoors again in southern parts of Canada.
Are we to expect the climate to remain constant forever and never change? Are we to expect it to continue warming and to never cool down again?





This post has been edited by nordicWX: Mar 8 2012, 03:08 AM
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bigmt
post Mar 8 2012, 07:17 AM
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QUOTE(nordicWX @ Mar 8 2012, 03:03 AM) *
When do you think this warming trend will end? (2020?) Or, are we all just going to end up being cooked?

Anyone notice the media has really been amping up the "Climate Change" agenda the last few days?

Yesterday the story was that we'll never be able to play hockey outdoors again in southern parts of Canada.
Are we to expect the climate to remain constant forever and never change? Are we to expect it to continue warming and to never cool down again?


Generally the response to La Nina events is for the atmosphere to cool off with a lag period of a few months but recently the cooling effect has been muted. The question is why? One suspect is the specter of the overall warming planet essentially 'loading the dice' towards the warm side of outcomes. If this is true, La Ninas will largely continue to fail in their ability to chill global temps and El Nino episodes will further spike the global warmth. This is one of the primary reasons experts are watching the effects of the next major Nino closely with some degree of anticipation that it will lead to a new record for global temperatures.

A wild card is the cooling effect of strong volcanic activity but it is unpredictable and temporary. There's no way of knowing when the next eruption of sufficient strength to put a dent in the warm trend will occur.

The entire issue of climate change is still controversial in some eyes, so it all depends on how much stock each individual puts into the idea. If it's true and we don't halt greenhouse gas emissions the warmth will continue unchecked and possibly accelerate if positive feedback mechanisms get involved. The amount of greenhouse gases that have been introduced already is enough to continue the warming trend for quite a while yet.

I don't even know if I've answered your question to anyone's satisfaction lol. A warming climate doesn't preclude a cold, snowy winter (case in point, Alaska and Europe this past year) but it could tip the odds to an extent. There are so many variables involved that hard and fast conclusions are impossible to make.
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Regg
post Mar 8 2012, 08:52 AM
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The recent report about the outdoor sports can be seen as ''alarmist'' in the way that it is based on assumptions about a potential continuation of the warming trend. I don't think the warming is linear, so pulling a conclusion out of it can be a mouse trap.

Yet (big Yet)... If we compare how easy it was in the 60's - 70's (and before) to run outdoor rinks, and how it is hard today - the report might not be so ''alarmist''. Just look at the Rideau Canal skating activities this year (and over recent years).. Their season is getting shorter, and they need to work more to keep the ice at decent condition. In Montreal, to keep the exterior skating bassin at the old port, they had to install a cooling system - over the years it became impossible to keep that place with solid (secure) ice conditions - the only solution was to install such system.

In the past, very warm winter season were ''freak'' event happening here and there - now it is the average. What we can expect for the near future is still warm winters, and the ''freak'' event could become a cold winter season in the middle of all the others.

The problem now, it is no longer possible to talk about such subject without falling in a political debate with views entirely blinded by financial issues, single minded political agenda, or bias demonstrations. I think we'll have to live throught it whatever the outcome and (sadly) pay for it down the road. On an other blog i gave the example of the ski industry. Back in the 60's - 70's, you could operate a ski resort without a large snow making system as most of the winters got a good amount of snow to operate from december to april. It is not possible anymore, most of the small ski resort have closed over the last 40 years as they could not afford such system - thus unable to run a profitable winter season caused by long period without snow or with warm conditions scrapping the snow pack.

The difference is very thin .. We're talking of about 1 or 2 degrees on the average temps and it makes all the difference between a good season and a very bad one. If you go a little bit north, the situation is still good as they are not at that ''tipping'' point (yet). But what if it continues to warm - eventually they will also be on that ''tipping'' point.

My conclusion is .. If it stays where we are, it means we will see bad winter (as this year), and freak winter like 2008 with a huge snow pack, but still a warm season. If it cools a bit, then we'll be back to condition as the 60's 70's - so no more problem. But if it continue to get warmer, then we're doomed with exterior winter activities and the progression will go further north.
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an uncanny otter
post Mar 8 2012, 11:01 PM
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QUOTE(Regg @ Mar 8 2012, 08:52 AM) *
The problem now, it is no longer possible to talk about such subject without falling in a political debate with views entirely blinded by financial issues, single minded political agenda, or bias demonstrations. I think we'll have to live throught it whatever the outcome and (sadly) pay for it down the road.
Yes, I agree completely. I hesitate to even talk about climate change because the issue has become so politicized and so heated that it ignites a fire of controversy and arguments. Climate change is hardly an issue of science anymore, and it's very difficult to have a purely scientific discussion about it without some sort of political leverage being thrown in. It is very disappointing.
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post Mar 11 2012, 09:56 PM
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I may chime in once in awhile over the next few months, but I really won't start looking into next winter until summer time, and I may or may not have a preliminary winter forecast in early September... But for now I'm gonna enjoy this beautiful spring weather!


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tml78
post Mar 12 2012, 05:48 PM
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Well how much worse can it get next winter for the GTA??

I'm predicting colder & more snow then what we had this year!!! HAHA LOL

It's almost like taking the under vs this winter we had...

To bad we can't gamble on the weather. That would be really fun!!!
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tml78
post Mar 12 2012, 06:37 PM
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City news is reporting that we can hit as high as +22/+23 this weekend... CRAZY
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bigmt
post Mar 13 2012, 06:41 AM
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Many of the record highs broken over the past couple of days in ON were set in 1977 (Toronto & Ottawa on Sunday) and 1995 (St Catherines & Collingwood on Monday). Just for anecdotal fun, here's a look at March from those months and the winters following them.

March 1977:

Attached File  mar1977.png ( 13.12K ) Number of downloads: 0


March 1995:

Attached File  mar1995.png ( 15.07K ) Number of downloads: 0


The notorious December-February 1977-78 (weak El Nino, some expectations of that state this winter perhaps):

Attached File  winter1978.png ( 15.39K ) Number of downloads: 0


December-February 1995-96 (weak La Nina):

Attached File  winter1996.png ( 14.74K ) Number of downloads: 0
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