The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Most of Canada likely in for a green Christmas Day: Environment Canada

  • Print

TORONTO - Waking up to a winter wonderland on Christmas Day will be more of a dream than reality for many parts of the country, cautions Canada's top weather man.

Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips says he hates to be the grinch, but the chances of having snow on the ground on Dec. 25 are looking bleak for many Canadians.

"It's one of the things where we're seen united as Canadians, in wanting it to be a white Christmas," said Phillips.

"We want it on that day to put us in the mood. It's almost like (having) turkey and toys. It's just part of the feeling at Christmas time."

But the reality is that only about a quarter of the population will have that wish come true — especially if you live in Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

"There are some areas in Canada that are clearly a done deal," he said. "Out west, not only is it going to be a white Christmas, it's going to be a white Easter. They've been buried in snow."

Newfoundland, parts of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island also have some chances of a wintry Christmas, along with those living in Ottawa, Sault Ste Marie, Ont., Quebec City and Montreal.

Yet for those living in most parts of Ontario, British Columbia and many other locations, Phillips says it's a "toss up" that you'll probably get better weather on Christmas Day for football game than tobogganing.

Environment Canada defines a white Christmas as having at least two centimetres of snow on the ground on the morning of Dec. 25.

According to statistics the agency has kept since 1955, the chances of getting a white Christmas have been dropping across Canada year after year.

"We have this reputation. We are known as the Cold White North. But I don't think we're as cold and white as we once were," said Phillips.

"Our reputation is being undermined. Winter is not... what it used to be. It was more of a done deal. It was more of a guarantee."

In fact, on average there was an 80 per cent chance of having a snowfall on Christmas Day in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Fast-forward to the last 20 years, and those odds on average have slipped to 65 per cent, according to Environment Canada.

That's most true in Toronto where there hasn't been any snow on the ground on Dec. 25 since 2008. That winter, parts of southern Ontario was repeatedly walloped with snowstorms carrying high winds and bringing near-record snow fall levels.

Phillips says this year, even if you do get a wintry holiday, it is more likely to be a light dusting than a big dump come Christmas Day.

Many of the reasons for the warmer winters can be attributed to climate change, he added.

"The lesson for this is if you get one: embrace it, enjoy it because it is something that future generations will have be dreaming a little harder to get," said Phillips. "We know the future is warmer and with less snow."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Peguis Chief Hudson comments on toddler's death upgrade to homicide investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Water lilys are reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google