All of Canada may see a White Christmas

A man shovels snow in his driveway in Ontario, Canada December 21, 2008.  Credit:  Sumran Bhan / CTV.caFor the first time in nearly 40 years, all of Canada may see a White Christmas later this week, as the entire country is currently either shrouded in snow or is forecast to receive at least 1″ of snow on or before Christmas Day.  While Canada is known for its cold, snowy winters, it is relatively rare that the entire country is blanketed in white at the same time.

The first day of winter brought wind-chill warnings, snow and a bevy of storms to cities across Canada on Sunday, potentially laying the groundwork for the first cross-country white Christmas in nearly four decades.

Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CTV Newsnet that “it looks like a very good chance” it will be a white Christmas for all parts of Canada for the first time since 1971.

“It’s just sort of the beginning of winter, and it’s a little much to expect when we have so many different climatic types in this country for it to be frozen and snow-covered from right across the huge country,” he told CTV Newsnet on Sunday.

Environment Canada snowfall warnings for Vancouver predict that up to 20 centimetres of snow will fall by Sunday evening, accompanied by bone-chilling wind-chill effects throughout the evening and into Monday….With the storm system moving eastward through Sunday afternoon, parts of eastern Ontario, Quebec and much of the Maritimes remain under winter storm or snowfall warnings.

Environment Canada predicts as much as 20 cm of snow to fall in Montreal and 30 cm of snow in other parts of Quebec by the end of the day.

…Both New Brunswick and Newfoundland were expected to see snowfalls of between 10 and 25 cm, with high-speed winds accompanying some storms.

While it remains to be seen what the season-ending totals will be, some areas may be on track to outpace last year’s record-setting snowfall totals:

Phillips said some parts of the country are seeing snowfall amounts that have outpaced last year’s record and near-record totals at this point in the season.

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