Good news for ski bums, bad news for anyone who isn’t a fan of snow: This year’s winter forecast has arrived, and it looks like things are about to get white and cold.
AccuWeather’s senior meteorologist, Brett Anderson said that Canadians should expect a colder and snowier winter than last year. “Compared to last winter, the upcoming winter is expected to be colder from the eastern Prairies to Quebec,” said Anderson. “There are opportunities for several significant snow events from Windsor through Toronto and up into Ottawa and Montreal this winter, especially in January and February.”
People living in the West Coast might just find themselves trading their typical rain boots for snow boots since areas like Vancouver, Victoria, Ontario and Quebec will be hit with more snow than usual.
Although the Prairies are expected to get hit with some of the lowest temperatures on record, Anderson explained that the waves of Arctic air are expected to be short-lived in Calgary and Edmonton. Unfortunately, Regina, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay are in for an even colder winter.
Thankfully, it’s not all bad news. “Cloudier and milder conditions will prevail in cities such as Saint John, Halifax and Charlottetown,” Anderson said.
At this point, winter storms may still feel far away, but it’s never too early to start preparing for inclement weather. Here are a few tips to help you get your house, your car and your family ready for the inevitable ice and snow.
STOCK UP ON SALT
Slips and falls are a big concern when the weather turns cold. Salt for walkways and driveways is often one of the first things to sell out in stores when a major storm hits, so start stocking up now.
It might feel too early to have your winter tires put on your car, but that doesn’t mean you can’t buy them now just in case an unexpected snowstorm hits soon. It’s also a great time to make an appointment with your mechanic for early November to have the tires put on your car. And it wouldn’t hurt to do an overall check on the condition of your car while you’re at it.
KEEP YOUR CAR SAFE
When a winter storm hits, the safest bet is to stay off the roads, but that’s not always a possibility. Make sure that your car is packed with all of the essentials, including extra windshield washer fluid, blankets, a flashlight, a small shovel, a windshield scraper, a battery-powered radio, water, dry foods, a first-aid kit, emergency reflectors, an extra cell phone battery and matches. And remember to keep your gas tank at least half full at all times.
FILL YOUR PANTRY
Winter storms can hit suddenly, which can turn a trip to the grocery store for supplies into a dangerous mission. Stock your pantry now with dry goods and cases of water to prepare for any sudden storms that may render you housebound for a few days.
Losing power is a scary reality for winter storms. Having alternative power sources, including generators and batteries, means you’ll be able to run small heaters should you lose power. It’s also a good idea to keep backup batteries and chargers for cell phones to keep you in contact with friends and family and continue receiving weather updates from local news stations.
DRESS FOR THE OCCASION
Don’t wait for the snow to hit to make sure that your winter boots and jacket fit. Try on your winter clothing now and if there are items that you’re missing, including thermal underwear, gloves, mitts, scarves and snow pants, purchase them before they sell out.
MAKE A STORM PLAN
Speak to your boss now about a contingency plan for winter storms. If possible, are you able to work from home should a storm hit? Also, talk to your child’s school about how they plan on preparing for winter storms and snow days. If your child’s school is closed but you have to work, do you have a babysitter or family member on call that can help with childcare? Would your employer be willing to allow your child to come in for the day? Having plans in place will make for a less stressful situation should a winter storm hit.