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If winter feels especially grey in Toronto this year, it’s not just you. Here’s why
It’s been an uncharacteristically dreary winter this year in Toronto, almost similar to a “Vancouver kind of a winter” with more overcast days than normal, according to a senior climatologist.
Environment Canada’s David Phillips told CTV News Toronto in an interview Sunday that, typically, Toronto would have seen roughly between 190 to 200 hours of clear skies throughout the winter so far.
“Well, all we’ve had is 30,” he said. “It’s almost like the sun doesn’t appear anymore. It’s almost like a Vancouver kind of a winter.”
What brings sunny skies to Toronto are cold days, Phillips said.
“My wife always says, ‘Well, could we have a warm and sunny day in the winter?’ I said, ‘No, it’s not possible. You’re either going to have sunny and cold or overcast or mild,” Phillips said.
He told CTV News Toronto that the brutally cold conditions the Prairies(opens in a new tab) are currently experiencing are an example if that, with some regions dipping to -55 C with the wind chill despite clear and sunny skies.
But for Toronto, the weather has been warmer than what is typical for winter.
In December, Phillips said the temperatures were about, on average, five degrees warmer than normal and this pattern has so far continued in January.
“I think [Sunday] will be kind of a milestone day because it’s going to be the coldest day of the winter,” Phillips said.
“My gosh, we might see the first double digit temperature below freezing – -14 [Celsius] is going to be the projected low.”
Outside of a higher number of overcast days, Phillips said Toronto has also seen more rain and fog this season.
“We’ve had 28 days with rain [in] November, December and January to date. We’ve had three traces – these would be non-measurable amounts – but normally we would have about 21 of those,” he said.
Toronto has also seen about 20 days of fog during the same period of time, where normally the city would get about five days
But, Phillips clarified Environment Canada doesn’t distinguish whether it’s an all day fog or just one hour of it.
There have also been just six days this winter season where Torontonians can look out and see white snow on the ground, he added.
“Some other times during the day, it’s either melted or it’s been rained on, it’s slushy,” Phillips said.
This coming week, which Phillips called the dead of winter, is set to bring on the coldest seasonal weather to Toronto(opens in a new tab). Torontonians can expect “all freeze days” ahead, where every hour is below freezing, starting Sunday through to next Saturday.
Blue Monday(opens in a new tab), which falls on the third Monday of the month and considered to be the saddest day of the year (though a U.K. travel company coined the term in a marketing tactic in 2005), is forecasted to see mainly sunny skies with a high of -10 Celsius.
Clouds and a chance of flurries are forecasted for Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, though the sun will peek out Wednesday and Sunday.
Outside of this comparatively colder week ahead, Phillips said this winter could still come out to be warmer than normal due to El Nino(opens in a new tab) – but as far as how the rest of this season will look like is too soon to tell.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say this week coming could be the coldest week of the winter, so far for sure, but whether it would be the coldest of the entire winter when we could have miserable days in March […] we just have to wait and see,” he said.
With files from Tara De Boer