Those dreaming of a white Christmas will just have to put that dream on hold this year. The majority of Canadians will wake to a green Christmas this year even though 85 per cent of the country will be covered in snow. The snow will be contained to the most northerly parts of the country with people living in southern urban centers across the Canada only experiencing the odd flurry, said Dave Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada.
In Woolwich and Wellesley townships temperatures are a little higher than normal and although the temperature for Christmas Eve is expected to be below freezing there is no precipitation in the forecast.
Christmas Day will see a high of plus one with a 40 per cent chance of flurries, but to qualify as having a white Christmas, there must be two centimeters of snow on the ground at 7 a.m. on Dec. 25.
“You don’t get a white Christmas with flurries and we will not be getting the two centimeters that we would need for a white Christmas,” said Phillips. “We may have that second-best feeling when the gifts are being opened or the family is sitting down to eat turkey and those snowflakes may just start to fall outside the widows giving you the look of Christmas without the accumulation.”
The good news is that travel over the holiday weekend will be easy. That is the offset to not having the white stuff on the ground. Those kids receiving sleighs or toboggans from Santa Claus this year will have to wait to use them.
It is unusual that so many millions of Canadians will go without a white Christmas this year, said Phillips.
“This is something that is not rare in the region as it occasionally occurs what is odd is that the majority of Canada will also be experiencing a green or brown Christmas. Across Canada we usually know by Halloween if we are going to have a white Christmas and this year that will not happen.”
Because the month of December has been on average five degrees warmer than normal – milder that Phillips has ever seen in December – most of the snow that has fallen has melted soon after hitting the ground, he said.
Environment Canada is unable to tell when the first real snowfall will occur in the region, but temperatures are starting to cool off. Models show warmer than normal temperatures for the month of January, but the snow has simply been postponed.
“There will be moments in late January going to February and March when Canadians will wish they were somewhere else. We could be facing a very short winter but it is still winter and there will be moments when it will seem tough,” said Phillips. “Those that love winter will just have to be patient, it will come – it always does here in Canada.”