By Mike Davey
Toronto, Ontario -- November 23, 2016 -- Everybody loves a classic, and reports indicate that we'll soon be seeing the return of a very Canadian classic: winter.
Winters across Canada have been extraordinarily mild for the last two years. While the mild weather brought some advantages to Canadians, such as not having to shovel driveways, it's had a negative impact on the collision repair industry. An overall lack of snow, combined with warmer than average temperatures, meant an overall decrease in the number of collisions.
"The collision business is directly correlated to the weather," says Lorenzo D'Alessandro of CSN-427 Auto Collision and CSN-Avenue Collision. "We didn't see an actual drop off in work at our facilities in the last two winters, but there were fewer overall collisions than usual in the winter season. It's also important to note that while winter usually brings more collisions, they're also more severe, which drives up the number of total losses."
Meteorologists with the Weather Network are predicting a return this year to the winter conditions that many of us think of as normal. Western Canada's storm season has gotten off to an early start, with frequent precipitation hitting British Columbia. This is predicted to continue through must of the winter. Much of the snow will fall in the Rockies, but the coastal areas will be susceptible to rising snow levels at times when milder Pacific air surges into the region. There's also more potential for snow in BC's Lower Mainland than in the previous two years.
"It is interesting to note that several years in the past with similar weather patterns to our current pattern also had memorable periods of winter weather in the Vancouver area," according to Doug Gillham and Michael Carter writing for the Weather Network. "However, we cannot assume that similarities in the pattern will produce the same results."
Meteorologists are predicting "near normal" snow levels in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchwan. However, above normal levels of snowfall may show up in Alberta, especially in the foothills and high prairies regions, as upslope flow could increase the amounts of snow.
The Weather Network is also predicing a snowy winter for southern Ontario and Quebec, "with considerably more precipitation than last year." Frequent snow storms are most likely for the the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley regions.
Atlantic Canada is predicted to see "wide variations in the storm track." This means some storms will turn up into the Great Lakes, but others will head out to sea. This storm track variability may mean a wide variety of precipitation, including rain and ice, rather than just snow. In turn, this means Atlantic Canada may actually see lower total snowfall than in the last few years.