Warm dry winter may lead to difficult summer, top climatologist says

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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A senior climatologist with Environment Canada says the balmy winter conditions seen across the country have left him shaking his head and worrying about what's in store for the summer.
David Phillips says this winter was the warmest on record in 63 years, with average temperatures in December through February that were four degrees higher than normal.
He says the season was also unusually dry, with precipitation levels about 22 per cent lower than normal on average.
But Phillips says people hoping winter trends bode well for the summer may be in for a rude awakening.
He says winter temperatures are poor predictors of what's in store during the spring and summer.
He points out that the warm and dry conditions could lead to a host of problems in a few months.
He says farmers could experience droughts, dry forests may be at greater risk of fires, and bugs and parasites that are usually killed off in cold weather may thrive as temperatures rise.

Organizations: Environment Canada

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Recent comments

  • Jack
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    While the North Atlantic Oscillation and El Nino are proven links to Canada's wacky and mild 2010 winter, I don't believe that the melting arctic polar ice caps are one of these true reasons.

    Logically speaking, if the melting polar ice caps is one reason for the mild winter, Northern Eurasia from Great Britain to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula area should experience similar wacky and mild winters as well.

    Furthermore, melting polar ice caps will likely make the world's cold currents, particularly the Labrador Current, stronger and eventually penetrate the warm currents such as the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic currents, resulting in the Eastern North American and Eurasian mini ice age or younger dryas periods.

    Unless Dr. David Phillips has physical evidence to prove that melting polar ice caps are the reason for Canada's warm and wacky winters, which should logically effect Northern Eurasia as well, I don't believe him 100%.

    Evidence Dr. Phillips, evidence.

    For referencing purposes, Eurasia means Europe and Asia combined.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Environment Canada cannot predict tomorrows weather, so I have no faith in this article.

  • Pat
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    This is the same so called senior climatologist who predicted higher amounts of snow last fall.
    Little advice - look out your window to see the weather.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:28

    wasn't this the same fellow who predicted the weather trends for this winter, and was WRONG.

    I suggest he not pick his own lotery numbers.t

  • Bob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    What bugs the hell out of me is with all this rain the rivers are overflowing their banks and the water is going directly into the ocean. It's sickening to see it here in CBS.
    What's being done at the provincial/municipal level to harness this for use in summer?

  • Don
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    How about a crystal ball. It's better then any predictions David Phillips ever makes.

  • House
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Didn't this expert predict last fall that we would have a winter with more snow than normal. Do you have anyone esle you could quote?

  • Member of the 93%
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Just wait till Doc' and the rest of the intelligensia get hold of this. They might as well just tell us now about the water ban. maybe we could get some sort of rebate on our water bill. Ooops, forgot Doc needs another all expense paid trip for himself and his buddies to smarm with the cruise ship elite.

  • Jack
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    While the North Atlantic Oscillation and El Nino are proven links to Canada's wacky and mild 2010 winter, I don't believe that the melting arctic polar ice caps are one of these true reasons.

    Logically speaking, if the melting polar ice caps is one reason for the mild winter, Northern Eurasia from Great Britain to Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula area should experience similar wacky and mild winters as well.

    Furthermore, melting polar ice caps will likely make the world's cold currents, particularly the Labrador Current, stronger and eventually penetrate the warm currents such as the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic currents, resulting in the Eastern North American and Eurasian mini ice age or younger dryas periods.

    Unless Dr. David Phillips has physical evidence to prove that melting polar ice caps are the reason for Canada's warm and wacky winters, which should logically effect Northern Eurasia as well, I don't believe him 100%.

    Evidence Dr. Phillips, evidence.

    For referencing purposes, Eurasia means Europe and Asia combined.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Environment Canada cannot predict tomorrows weather, so I have no faith in this article.

  • Pat
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    This is the same so called senior climatologist who predicted higher amounts of snow last fall.
    Little advice - look out your window to see the weather.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    wasn't this the same fellow who predicted the weather trends for this winter, and was WRONG.

    I suggest he not pick his own lotery numbers.t

  • Bob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    What bugs the hell out of me is with all this rain the rivers are overflowing their banks and the water is going directly into the ocean. It's sickening to see it here in CBS.
    What's being done at the provincial/municipal level to harness this for use in summer?

  • Don
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    How about a crystal ball. It's better then any predictions David Phillips ever makes.

  • House
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Didn't this expert predict last fall that we would have a winter with more snow than normal. Do you have anyone esle you could quote?

  • Member of the 93%
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Just wait till Doc' and the rest of the intelligensia get hold of this. They might as well just tell us now about the water ban. maybe we could get some sort of rebate on our water bill. Ooops, forgot Doc needs another all expense paid trip for himself and his buddies to smarm with the cruise ship elite.