While snow and cold is actually normal for this time of year, the amount of snow and the below normal cool temperatures are not. But what is causing this early winter? It’s easy to blame the “Polar Vortex” but it’s not the only reason say experts.
The Sault Ste. Marie airport recorded 100 cm of snow from recent squalls and storm systems within the last three days. Typically the Sault will see about 300 cm for the entire winter. That means we have already seen 1/3 of our annual snowfall and it’s not even winter for another 5 weeks.
The abnormal amounts of snow and unseasonably cold temperatures can be contributed to three meteorological events in the last week that lead to the “perfect storm” scenario for parts of Michigan and Ontario this past week.
First Typhoon Nuri tracked to the north pacific ocean and merged with a subtropical system creating a “weather bomb” that’s number 2,
– a quickly forming low pressure system so strong it caused a bend in the jet stream that allowed cold arctic air to slide south in a hurry, as that cold air raced over the warmer waters of the great lakes you get number 3, persistent lake effect snows and snowsqualls. In most causes snowsqualls tend to form in “streamers” a narrow band of heavy snow. That’s why some areas got 50cm plus while others lower amounts.
Brace yourself however, winter’s early punch isn’t over yet. Another round of snow squalls could develop late Sunday into Monday – areas prone to lake effect snow could see another 50cm added to their totals on the ground now.
Most of this activity will hit St. Joeseph Island to the east and the typical snowbelt areas north of the city, Batchawana , Searchmont. That’s not to say Sault Ste. Marie will escape some active winter weather. Expect to see 5 to 10cm within the city as a reinforcing shot of cold air settles with below normal temperatures for all of this week – and a chance of snow every day until Saturday.
There’s some good news on the horizon by the end of November and early December, long range models and early forecasts are calling for well above normal temperatures in the plus 8c range and then moderating to about plus 3 for several days heading into the first week of December and then another warming trend shaping up for mid December, though those long range forecasts tend to change, the Jet Stream is expected to rise over the Great Lakes allowing for that cold air boundary to be pushed further north and allow warmer air to encompass the Great Lakes basin. A return to “normal” winter conditions are expected into the Christmas period.