It looks like BC residents are in for a mild winter season this year. Whether you absolutely love the sound of that or absolutely hate it, you can either thank or blame it all on "the blob".
The who now? Allow me to clarify. Try and take this all in while I attempt to explain exactly what this strange weather feature is in the easiest way possible.
#OceanNews: A Returning Patch of Warm Water in the Northern Pacific Ocean Called "The Blob" Could Spell Wonky Weather for the U.S. This Winter. Or, That's What Recent News Reports Suggest..▼— TheOceansMatter (@TheOceanMatters) October 23, 2018
So, this mysterious blob is basically a massive (like twice the size of BC kind of massive) area of warmer than usual water in the northern Pacific Ocean. It first developed back in 2014 but disappeared again until recently. It reappeared in the fall of 2016 and then once again faded away. Now it's back for 2018 and it's going to affect the winter season on the West Coast.
To take you back to Grade 7 science class, you'll recall that water temperature is basically the driving force behind the earth's climate zones. Ocean water is constantly being evaporated. When warm water like the blob is evaporated, this increases the temperature and humidity of the surrounding air.
Looks like the “Blob” weather phenomenon is taking place again in northern Pacific Ocean. Along with a probable El Nino, does this predict a mild winter for the PNW? https://t.co/8mxFOVRB1r pic.twitter.com/7valXboKPF— Lauren Braden (@nwtripfinder) October 19, 2018
As BC residents probably remember, the winter of 2014-2015 was totally snow-free for many coastal areas in the province. This abnormally tame winter is thought to be the result of the blob's presence and warm temperature in the ocean that year.
On the other hand, during the winter of 2017, Vancouver and the BC South Coast was totally pummeled with snow. Depths in some areas were in excess of 40 cm. The blob was not present that year, therefore, the cool temperature from the ocean made it the perfect recipe for large amounts of snow.
Unseasonable conditions in B.C. are likely once again causing a large area of the Pacific Ocean to heat up, emulating a phenomenon from past years called the "blob." https://t.co/ctSMsqFO22— CBC Daybreak North - Prince George & Northern B.C. (@daybreaknorth) October 19, 2018
While weather experts say it's a little too soon to judge, the massive blob in the Pacific points to a warmer winter for BC with little snowfall. If you're a skier or snowboarder, don't write off your Whistler trip just yet. Higher elevated areas have been known to overcome the blob's warm spell.