Milder winters could become the norm

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A stock photo of Dr. David Phillips from Environment Canada.

By: Zachary Balough – Ontario residents may need to hold off searching for their winter gear.

Ontario is enduring mild weather and it is leaving residents to wonder if their heavy coats, hats, gloves, and other gear are essential this season.

Winter has been off to a slow start. According to The Weather Network a milder winter is expected for the 2020-2021 season especially in the southern part of the part of the province. The Weather Network said this does not mean no high impact winter weather like ice storms and blizzards won’t hit this year.

Climates to Travel reports in Toronto the city has an average high of -5.5 degrees Celsius in January.

Dr. David Phillips is the senior climatologist at Environment Canada. He states that in the Sault Ste. Marie area this time in January, the city should expect 30 day temperatures of -10 C, however, there have been only 11 days that have reached -10 C this year so far.

According to Living in Canada, one of the warmest cities in the nation is Windsor, Ontario whose climate is modified by its location in the Great Lakes Region. Even though Windsor is considered warm, it still endures harsh winters.

Dr. Philips said that the reason for the milder winter pattern could be attributed to the change in airflow.

“What we are seeing is instead of a northerly flow, a Siberian flow, an Alaska Yukon flow or a Polar flow it has all been from the United States where the Pacific air is blowing right across the country resulting in the milder weather,” said Phillips

One of the most common issues our planet is facing is the threat of climate change. NASA’s definition of climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could mean a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year, or it could be a change in a place’s usual temperature for a month or season.

Climate change can also refer to the change in the Earth’s climate and could be a change in Earth’s usual temperature, it could also mean a change in where certain precipitation falls on the Earth.

Weather can change in just a few hours; however, climate change takes hundreds or even millions of years to change.

David Samhuel senior meteorologist with Accuweather.com said that over 50 years there has been a steadily increase in the overall temperatures.

“Since the ’50s and ’60s temperatures have rose about two degrees,” said Maggio.

Dr. Phillips believes this winter is consistent with what we will see in the future.

– Zachary is a second year journalism intern writing for SaultOnline.com from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario.