Environment and Climate Change Canada presents the winter seasonal outlook

News release

December 1, 2023 – Gatineau, Quebec

Today, experts from Environment and Climate Change Canada provided an outlook for Canada’s upcoming winter season, which is expected to bring higher-than-normal temperatures across the country.

El Niño conditions, which contributed to extreme global temperatures during the summer and autumn of 2023, are expected to continue through this winter season. El Niño conditions are due to natural variability in the climate system and will likely contribute to the higher-than-normal temperatures in Canada this winter, intensifying the warming effects from human-induced climate change in what is shaping up to be the hottest year recorded in human history.

Despite the prediction of a relatively warm winter, the arrival of winter will still bring severe weather in various forms, such as snow, wind, and freezing rain. Canadians are urged to regularly monitor weather forecasts, take all winter weather alerts seriously, and get prepared for winter weather events by developing an emergency plan or adjusting their travel plans. Alerts help Canadians prepare to face severe weather events, save lives, and reduce the impacts on property and livelihoods. Canadians can download the WeatherCAN app in order to receive weather alert notifications wherever they are in Canada.

Climate change is affecting the frequency, duration, and intensity of extreme weather in Canada. Canada is warming at roughly double the global rate, and even more in the north, which will lead to more damaging weather events.

Canada must keep fighting the root causes of climate change, but we must also understand and reduce the risks from ongoing changes in the climate and adapt to those changes that cannot be avoided. This is why the Government of Canada has developed a robust National Adaptation Strategy, a whole-of-society vision to reduce the risk of climate-related disasters, improve health outcomes, protect nature and biodiversity, build and maintain resilient infrastructure, and support a strong economy and its workers.

Quick facts

  • Historically, Canada is mostly affected by El Niño during winter and spring. Milder than normal winters and springs occur in western, northwestern, and central Canada. Generally, El Niño has comparatively minor impacts on southeastern Canada, including the Maritimes, through winter and spring.

  • Although extreme events would occur in a world without human influence on the climate, recent studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report have found that increases in the intensity and frequency of hot extremes and precipitation extremes can likely be attributed to human influence.

  • The UN’s World Meteorological Organization confirmed in a provisional report that 2023 is set to be the warmest on record, with global temperatures rising 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is the country’s official source for weather information and severe weather warnings and is committed to providing Canadians with accurate and timely weather information, including severe weather alerts.

  • The latest forecasts and severe weather warnings are available through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s weather website, the WeatherCAN app (available for Android and iOS devices), Weatheradio and Hello Weather (1-833-794-3556).

Associated links


Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

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