Old man winter will soon be here

The Weather Network's top forecaster is advising Canadians to keep their winter mitts close and snow shovels even closer as he expects much of the country is in for a harsher blast of winter than it was dealt last year.

"We'll get more winter this year than we did last year," said director of meteorology Chris Scott.

And that means a return to more "typical" historic conditions of cold and snow gripping much of the country, he said.

"If you think back on Christmas Day (2011) there were many major cities in the country that didn't have a lot of snow on the ground, and that was the theme for the winter."

"The way things are shaping up right now we think there'll be more cold air to work with and as a result we think that some of these storm systems that track through will dump a bit more snow than they did last year," Scott said.

Scott and the network's team of meteorologists are predicting that most of Atlantic Canada will see higher temperatures and more snow than usual, while the northern Prairies, Northwest Territories and western parts of Nunavut will dip below their 30-year temperature average.

The Great Lakes region and Gulf of St. Lawrence should also get more of the white stuff, he said.

But for the rest of the country, he said precipitation and temperatures should, for the most part, remain within historic norms, a return to reality after last year`s relatively mild winter.

Scott is forecasting some fluctuations where a sudden influx of warm air from the south is quickly replaced by much colder air from the north, setting the stage for more storms and snow levels matching the long-term average.

"This year you may not be in the deep freeze all the time but it does look like there will be more cold air to play with," he said.

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