Really, Toronto, it’s time to chill.
Or stay warm, but don’t choose both.
Over the years, Toronto has been getting increasingly warmer during its winter months, which is great and all, except this year it’s kind of not. Our first snowfall of the winter season—usually making its appearance in November—only showed up after Christmas, on Dec. 29, a few days before the new year.
In fact, we had the warmest Christmas on record this past 2015 at 14 C, which was even warmer than it was in Los Angeles.
January was warm but manageable, but this February is just the worst. In December, it was as if winter had decided against coming at all. And just when we thought that entering February at still 10 C was too good to be true, it came back with a vengeance just in time for Valentine’s Day at a record low of -25 C. (That’s colder than the North Pole was!)
And then it left again. The next weekend we were back at 13 C, the warmest it has been in history. Again.
But don’t get too comfortable, of course, because we’re about to get another major snow storm today [note: Thursday].
With temperature fluctuations upwards of 40 degrees in a span of three weeks, some people are worried that the world is coming to an end. But meteorologists are attempting to convince us that this weather is normal—the sudden sweeps of cold weathers are, at least, just the jet stream that sweeps across the country to give us warmer and cooler temperatures.
The abnormally warm weather, however, is on account of El Niño, a climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean that affects temperatures around the world. Way back in October 2015, there were predictions that this year’s El Niño was going to bring a milder winter to Canada, as it was going to be what they call a “super El Niño.” It was to be the first one of the new millennium, the last one occurring from 1997 to 1998.
Clearly, El Niño has not disappointed. But the increasingly extreme weather that El Niño brings is definitely on account of climate change and global warming.
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We’re only a week away from March, but meteorologists predict that the weather will stay warm, somewhere in the (positive) single digits. Only one day in 10 is predicted to drop below freezing, so if we’re lucky, maybe the rest of this winter season will pass without incident.