Weather Network winter forecast calling for slow start for Ontario


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Chilly nights and snow-covered slopes may not be easy to come by in much of Canada during the first part of the winter season -- that's according to the winter outlook from The Weather Network.

The forecaster predicts El Nino conditions will lead to above-average temperatures and lower-than-normal precipitation levels in much of the country, particularly in Western and Central Canada.

While that trend is expected to hold throughout the winter in British Columbia and the Prairie provinces, the network says areas further east may see more variable conditions as the season progresses.

The forecaster says El Nino is associated with warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures in the tropical region of the Pacific Ocean to the west of South America, which affects the global jet stream pattern.

The network says the Prairies could see more traditional winter conditions return into the new year.

Meanwhile, residents of Ontario and Quebec will see a milder start to the winter, but Weather Network's chief meteorologist Chris Scott says southern Ontario and Quebec could see much colder weather in January and February.

Atlantic Canada will get a near-normal winter, whereas Northern Canada could see milder-than-normal temperatures across much of the region.

Scott says this winter could bring some surprises, amid an El Nino that he says is -- quote -- ``unlike anything we've quite seen before.''