With heavy snowfall and winter storms taking over parts of the country earlier this week, you might have anticipated a long wait until the arrival of spring. Well, you can forget everything you already thought you knew about this season, because it looks like we've just been thrown a curve ball.
It was officially announced earlier today that an El Niño event has been declared across both Canada and the United States, and it will likely bring an early end to winter weather and maybe even some extreme spring storms.
TL;DR It has officially been declared that an El Niño event will be impacting Canada and the United States, bringing an end to winter. Environmental conditions expected include flooding, strong storms along Canada's east coast, heavy rain, and an active cyclone season. More details below.
In case you have no idea what this means, El Niño is part of a climate pattern that occurs when sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean warm at a considerable rate for an extended period of time. As of now, temperatures are from 0.5C to 1.5C above normal.
In short, winter across Canada will be coming to an abrupt end.
This doesn't exactly mean we'll be trading in the cold and snowy conditions for peaceful spring weather. In fact, you may even begin to wish for the return of snow after the El Niño event unfolds.
That's because we'll instead be preparing for heavy rain, potential flooding, intense storms along the east coast, and a more active than usual cyclone season.
Canada's west coast will most likely experience more of the major impacts, such as drier and warmer conditions than usual, with above normal moisture in British Columbia. Although Ontario and Quebec's winter temperatures have been reflecting the changes due to El Niño in the form of warmer than normal winter temperatures.
There is a silver lining in all of this, as Canadian farmers will benefit from warmer winter temperatures. Other than this, most of us should probably prepare for a miserable end to winter and beginning of spring.
Stay tuned for more information on the El Niño event.