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Traditional winter is coming, says Day

An early  morning scene on College Road in 2017.
An early morning scene on College Road in 2017. - Lynn Curwin

Want to know why we’re getting wacky weather across Atlantic Canada?

You can blame the Bermuda High, says SaltWire Network’s chief meteorologist Cindy Day.

A big high-pressure bubble of subtropical hot air that normally heads off from Bermuda toward the Azores over the winter is hanging around.

And it’s playing havoc with the jet stream, which is doing the same for our weather.

Flooding in Western Newfoundland, washouts in Prince Edward Island, warm rain and a dump of snow in Nova Scotia. All within a couple of days.

“We’ve had a dramatic flip from one side of the jet stream to the other,” said Day.

“For a little while in Halifax it was 15 degrees

Celsius on Saturday and yesterday we had a wind chill of -15 so that’s a pretty dramatic change and it’s late in the season for that kind of fluctuation. The jet stream usually settles a little earlier than this.”

Day said the jet stream’s position is a result of where the Bermuda High is sitting.

It has not been able to sink southwards to allow a “more traditional winter” to set in, she said.

It has also led to some extreme opposite temperatures occurring in the region at the same time.

For example, on Tuesday morning, Labrador City saw a temperature of -33 C, while it was raining in St. Mary’s and Newfoundland’s Avalon peninsula.

Day said Atlantic Canadians can likely soon expect a more typical winter to set in once the jet stream settles down.

“I think it’s coming, it’s just coming a little later than usual,” said Day.

“If you bought a snowblower, there’s still a good chance you’ll have to use it many times before the winter is over.”

Day said Newfoundland has taken a beating but the weather system is moving off.

“The situation is starting to settle itself but (with) some of the roadways that are washed out, it will be a while before they get all those up and running.”

The next weather system to hit the Atlantic region will likely bring snow, followed by a brief mix of freezing rain then rain to all the provinces on Wednesday into Thursday.

“(It will be) not nearly as intense as the system that came through on the weekend or this one pulling out.”

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