Enjoy the January thaw while it lasts - a new report from The Weather Network predicts the return of the extreme cold weather that hit Canada last month, with multiple winter storms accompanying the double-digit negative temperatures.

The slight warm-up to temperatures past 0°C these next few days will serve as a transitory stage for the second wave of winter, which is expected to primarily affect Ontario and the Prairies. 

“This is another week of our changeable weather pattern before an impressive pattern change evolves next week, setting the stage for part two of winter,” says Dr. Doug Gillham, meteorologist for The Weather Network.

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Early next week, arctic air will sweep the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, bringing frigid conditions all week. AccuWeather has called this potential occurrence an “extreme cold outbreak,” with temperatures averaging as much as 6 to 12 degrees C below normal in those provinces. By February 2, the cold weather system will have moved east to the Great Lakes, affecting parts of northern and western Ontario with severe windchills and frequent snow storms. Here’s a breakdown of the potential events to come:

  • Alberta will receive a few centimetres of snow by late Saturday due to an incoming weak system
  • An arctic cold front will move through southern Alberta and central Saskatchewan, bringing chilly temperatures to those regions
  • Nova Scotia and PEI may be hit with a minor storm on Sunday and Monday
  • Parts of Ontario and Quebec will receive snow and mixed precipitation on Tuesday night and into Wednesday as a warm front approaches

“February (and into March) has the potential to be similar to what we experienced during late December and early January,” says Gillham. He also adds that February may be a “memorable month for winter weather,” particularly for areas surrounding the Great Lakes and the Maritimes.

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A longer-range forecast has also been provided by Accuweather:

  • Quebec and Atlantic Canada will get at least two snow events from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2
  • Atlantic Canada will continue to receive stormy conditions with significant snow between Feb 5 and 12
  • BC, eastern Canada and the Maritimes will be chilly and dry throughout mid-February

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

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