It's a bit crazy to think that South American coastal water fluctuations could tell Canadians anything about their winter forecast, but that's exactly how one of the top meteorologists in Canada is justifying a bold warning for the upcoming season.
"History tells us that when we have cooler waters off the coast of South America, that's La Nina, and those winters tend to be classic Canadian winter," chief Weather Network meteorologist Chris Scott told The Canadian Press.
According to Scott, the La Nina weather system that has emerged thus far in that part of the world strongly resembles the one that preceded the 2007-08 winter; which, astute Torontonians will remember as their snowiest winter on record. Should things proceed as expected, pretty much every region in the country (Nunavut looks to be an exception, in part because of changes stemming from global warming) will be in for higher-than-normal levels of precipitation.
"Buckle up, because it looks like a stormy winter," Scott declared.
From an insurance perspective, that is a bit of a scary proposition. Auto and home claims tend to skyrocket when winter weather gets nasty. But it may also mean that a greater number of Canadians choose to travel to warmer destinations and purchase travel insurance.
One industry that won't have any complaints is the ski resort business. Resorts have been hampered in recent years by snow deficits, so this winter could offer a chance to make up for lost time. With resorts like Whistler and Banff's Sunshine Village having opened in the past couple of weeks, things are already off to a good start.