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Colder than normal winter on the way

Southwestern Ontarians should be ready to bundle up a lot this winter, according to the Weather Network.

A colder-than-normal winter for Ontario is in the long-term winter forecast released Monday by the network, despite an unusual twist in the El Nino weather phenomenon. El Nino usually signifies a milder winter, but meteorologist Brad Rousseau of the Weather Network tells BlackburnNews.com that ridges of warm water off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts are creating a colder air mass over our region.

“It kind of builds up a ridge on either coast,” said Rousseau. “In the middle you get a trough, and we expect that trough to kind of set up over the Great Lakes region, which will allow for that colder air to settle in across the region throughout the winter months.”

We’re already seeing chilly temperatures in November, but Rousseau said the area spanning Windsor to London may see normal temperature readings around the holiday season and in the new year, while the mercury will likely drop from late January through early March.

As far as the white stuff is concerned, expect normal snowfall and fewer major winter storms across southwestern Ontario, according to Rousseau.

“We expect the storm track to be mainly south and east of the region, and it will have more of an impact on the Atlantic coast and Atlantic Canada,” said Rousseau. “A lot of these big winter storms should actually miss the area for the most part. We’ll still probably get clipped by a couple, that’s inevitable, that’s going to happen.”

Average snowfall varies in southwestern Ontario, according to statistics from the Weather Network. Chatham reports an average of 79 centimetres, Windsor an average of 126 centimetres , and 202 centimetres for London.