Sudbury Will Have a Green Christmas in 2015
Despite the weather’s last-ditch effort with a few flakes falling over the past few days, the forecast ahead for this week is looking like we’ll be celebrating a green Christmas in Sudbury in 2015.
Normally places in Northern Ontario have a very high chance of a white Christmas. Environment Canada has calculated these chances and has noticed distinct differences in chances of a white Christmas for this generation of children (1994-2013) compared to their parents’ generation (1965-1984).
Sudbury’s chances at a white Christmas are now 90%, compared to 100% between 1965-1984. Sault Ste. Marie has seen their chances drop from 95% to 80%. Similar patterns can be found across the country with Sarnia, Ontario seeing the greatest drop in percent chance of a white Christmas from 85% to 40%!
With the majority of Canadian cities seeing similar drops, there are a few cities that have actually seen an increase in chances for a white Christmas including St. John’s Newfoundland, Vancouver and Victoria.
These calculated chances are based on the actual amounts of snow on the ground on Christmas Day since 1965 and provides a snapshot of weather patterns and how they are changing over time.
While our changing climate certainly is playing a role, this particular “Green Christmas”, is brought to you by a strong El Nino happening in the Pacific Ocean.
The tropical Pacific Ocean receives more sunlight than anywhere else on Earth, and the vast amount of water found in that ocean, can store an incredible amount of heat from that sunlight. During a normal year, the Pacific trade winds blow from east to west, bringing warm water to the coasts of Indonesia and Australia. When an El Nino occurs, these winds may not be present or be blowing in the opposite direction from west to east, causing the Pacific waters off the coast of South America to warm up.
With all of this extra heat sitting in our hemisphere, our weather patterns begin to change and result in warmer than normal temperatures across some parts of North America.
So where in Northern Ontario can you head this year if you are seeking that perfect “White Christmas?” Looking at the forecast ahead, a white Christmas is guaranteed for places like Red Lake and Kenora. However warmer temperatures and rain are expected on the 23rd, which could cause snow to melt in places like Thunder Bay, Kapuskasing, Timmins, and Sudbury.
Let us know if you have a green or white Christmas where you are located!