The Weather Network – Winter Weather Whiplash! A stormy and changeable season in Canada

Monday, November 29, 2021 at 05.05 – The Weather Network predicts a come-and-go winter for large parts of the country with periods of strong weather for the coming season.

Devastating floods, record heat and even a blizzard have all grabbed headlines across Canada during the fall of 2021. Although we have seen a few quick images of early winter weather, consistent cold has so far been lacking across the country. Is this gentle and stormy pattern a foretaste of what awaits this winter? For a look ahead at what we expect during December, January and February, read on.

A tumultuous temperature pattern is expected across Canada in the coming winter season. This will result in a come-and-go winter in large parts of the country, with periods of severe winter weather, interrupted by periods of mild weather. Across western Canada, we expect cold temperatures to exceed periods of milder weather, especially in January and February. Meanwhile, across eastern Canada, the periods of mild weather should be more dominant.

Here is a look at our national temperature outlook for winter 2021-2022.

Winter forecast 2021-22 Temperature pattern

But before we get into our dominant pattern for the heart of the winter season, the focus for the more consistent winter weather is expected to shift to Ontario, Quebec, and even into the Maritimes for a few weeks during the second half of December, and in early January. This should include the week before Christmas and continue until New Year.

Temperature pattern in the middle and end of December 2021

In the heart of the winter season, we expect the focus of the cold weather to shift to western Canada, with fairly mild weather occasionally waving north into eastern Canada. However, we expect two different versions of that pattern through January and February.

For part of the time, very mild temperatures should dominate the eastern half of the country. This would result in an extended thaw across the southern parts of the region and apparently ‘dry away’ in the winter.

Temperature pattern A: January and February 2021

But at times, the cold weather over western and central Canada will try to spread south and east. This would create a battlefield between the Arctic air to the north and the very mild air to the south that would stretch from southern Ontario to the Maritimes. This scenario would produce periods of severe winter weather with messy systems tracing across the region.

Scenario B: Temperature pattern for January and February 2022

Although it seems that the milder version of the pattern will be more dominant, we are still uncertain about the balance between the two scenarios – which will probably be the key to how winter is remembered from the Great Lakes to Shipping.

Meanwhile, a La Niña Pacific weather pattern will continue to support an active storm surge across southern Canada, leading to above normal rainfall and snowfall in the southern parts of BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. But across southern Ontario and into parts of southern Quebec, several of our winter storms will bring a messy mix of snow, ice and even rain. So even though we still expect an abundance of snow (despite the milder temperatures), the southern areas may end up with normal snowfall.

National rainfall forecast for Canada's winter 2021-22

Below you can find a more detailed look at your provincial forecast as well as a sneak peek into early spring.


A stormy pattern is expected to continue over the southern BC. through the winter season, resulting in above normal rainfall. This will bring an abundance of snow to the alpine regions, and at times we expect significant snowfall across lower elevations, including Vancouver and the lower mainland, Victoria and the Okanogan Valley.

In addition, colder temperatures than normal are expected to dominate the season primarily during January and February and potentially stay at well into March. This should form the basis for an extended ski season.



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