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UPDATED: Stormy, wet winter in store for Prince Edward Island

Weather warnings, watches, or special statements are in effect for P.E.I.
P.E.I.'s winter weather forecast

Islanders are in for a wild ride this winter, with plenty of snow and rain in the forecast from December through February.

The Weather Network issued its annual winter forecast on Monday and it predicts P.E.I. will see a classic Canadian winter with near to above normal temperatures.

Temperatures should still be cold enough for an abundance of snow and ice but periods of milder weather and rain will keep the snowbanks from getting as high as they did during the infamous winter of 2014-15.

Brad Russo, a meteorologist with The Weather Network, said despite the forecast for mild weather the days of abnormally warm weather Islanders have been experiencing this fall are about to come to a quick end.

“We’re expecting a little cool down over December but, overall, we’re expecting above normal temperatures for the winter,’’ Russo said Monday.

One thing is for certain, it won’t be nearly as dry between December and February as it was this past fall. P.E.I. usually gets, on average 300 millimetres of rain in the fall. So far, it has received 160 millimetres.

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Russo said P.E.I.’s winter will make up for the difference.

The messy weather will come from what Russo calls an active storm track that will affect the eastern seaboard of the United States and eastern Canada.

“We see a very active storm track. We could see above normal snowfall and rainfall amounts. We’re expecting it to be quite active for the winter months.’’

Those kinds of words might have many thinking back to the winter days of 2014-15 when the Island got hit with a massive amount of snow, setting new records. Some Islanders were even forced to literally dig tunnels to get to their vehicles in the driveway. It was one big snowfall after another.

“Luckily, you’ll have a few more warm spells. We’re not expecting you to see the epic snowfalls you had that year.’’

Russo said the evidence is also there that P.E.I. could experience a winter similar to last year where the province received about 45 centimetres of snow more than the average it gets each year, which is about 197 centimetres (based on a December-February measurement).

Either way, Russo said it will be a messy winter for P.E.I.

“Looks like winter will be stormy with an abundance of rain and snow and trending slightly above normal temperature wise.’’

The worst of winter weather across Canada is expected to hit the Prairies, which will experience the harshest conditions with below normal temperatures and and above normal snowfall expected for much of the region, especially across the south.

In addition, the greater Toronto area is forecast to see its snowiest winter in a decade as the rest of Ontario and Quebec falls into the Atlantic Canadian category of a classic Canadian winter.

dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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