Author Topic: Weather Impressions from Toronto/Pickering - Ontario Canada  (Read 2066 times)

Offline avoorpool

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Weather Impressions from Toronto/Pickering - Ontario Canada
« on: February 26, 2013, 06:28:36 PM »
Winters in Canada were among the biggest challenges I faced when moving to Canada 13 years ago.
My 'home' country (the Netherlands) has a tempered climate, relatively mild winters (in Canada comparable with the West coast -Vancouver ) and not extreme humid - hot summers.
For me, Canada was (like for many people around the World) a land of 'Ice and Igloos'......

Well, throughout the years, I've seen it like that!!! Winters, especially in the Central Regions like Saskatchewan and Manitoba can be brutal (not much fun when you have to travel to those regions in Jan/Feb with day-time HIGH temperatures of - 20 C and blowing winds, creating a Windchill of - 35 C. The nickname for Winnipeg is 'Winterpeg'.

My home town Toronto/Pickering in Ontario is slightly different (and changing!!).
Even senior Climatologists have to admit that the weather all around us is changing. In my 13 years in Toronto I've seen extreme cold winters and soaring hot summers. However, over the past couple of years winters have become 'less extreme' and summers have shown a significant rise in the number of days with temperatures above 30 C.
Fortunately in both situations you'll find all kinds of preparations. Houses are well insulated and air-conditioning can be found in many places. The city of Toronto has special units for either an 'extreme cold weather Alert' (windchill temp < -15 C) or  'extreme heat alerts' (temp/humidex > 30 C).
Many people do not realize that Toronto is as far 'South' as Northern California or in Europe Milan - Italy..!!!

Our current 2012 - 2013 winter is less 'harsh' as the long-term forecast showed, back in November, and the past year (2012) was a year of 'double records'.
2012 gave us the  'mildest winter on record' ( '11-'12), followed by the 'hottest summer on record' with a 'staggering' 34 days of temperatures above 30 C (normal is 16)....

The geographical location of Toronto is definitely one that causes some of these extreme weather patterns. It's called "Lake Effect". In winter you see small bands of clouds, fuelled by relatively 'warm' Great Lake waters and often dumped as snow squalls (e.g at home I can have 15 cm of snow, while 25 km to the East there is not a snowflake to be seen!!)
In summer, the location often translates in very high humidex values (a Canadian 'invention' in 1965, to express the actual 'feels like' temperature, which includes the relative humidity). Past July & August (2012) showed days with values of + 46 C....

Climate Change...?? Who knows...(Just read some of the articles on my website in [Climate Change Bulletins).
I wouldn't mind to have a few palm trees in my backyard within a few years :-)

All of this is 'heaven' for weather enthusiasts since there is (most of the time) a lot going on. From Hurricane Sandy passing by, to record breaking snowfall in January 2013.
It also means that meteorologists are a bit 'careful' in making predictions for the 2013 summer.
After (another) very hot summer 2 years ago, they said it would be a harsh and cold winter with above normal precipitation. It turned out to be the mildest winter on record with 'only' 42 cm of snow (average normal is 137 cm over the entire winter).
So, we'll see what mother Nature has in mind for Toronto this summer.

For now, a recent snow blizzard 2 weeks ago dumped 25 -30 cm of snow in 24 hours and just compare that to the 42 cm of snowfall over the entire winter last year.....
Another Blizzard this week (Feb 26 -27) will add some 30 - 40 cm to the total Snowfall and most likely we'll end up in having 3 - 3.5x the amount of snow compared to last winter......
Climate change...?? Maybe not  :)



Offline JennyLeez

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Re: Weather Impressions from Toronto/Pickering - Ontario Canada
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 05:29:06 PM »
Thanks Arthur,

Interesting reading for sure :)
Living in Wairoa, Northern Hawkes Bay

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