Contributed/Tabya Ahmed This is what Ottawa looked like this morning to Tabya Ahmed after the snow storm.

Ottawa’s first heavy snow storm of the season has dropped about 20 cm of snow on the city, prompting the cancellation of school buses and contributing to a number of traffic accidents.

Before the cheering starts among the younger set, schools are still open, so if they can walk it’s not really a snow day.

On Gladstone Avenue snow knocked over a tree and downed power lines.

While the storm played havoc with the roads the white blanket created a winter wonderland, that many Metro readers have snapped photos of.

The Weather Network predicts large concentrated snow storms will be the make for an erratic winter.

The network’s Winter Outlook, which was released on Tuesday, is calling for highly variable weather of intense storms followed by long stretches of quiet weather between December and February.

“I’m seeing lengthy periods of active weather with heavy snow and freezing rain, followed by long periods of relative stability,” explained Weather Network meteorologist Elena Lappo. “Like much of the province, Ottawa will receive the average amount of snow, but instead of distributing snowfalls evenly throughout the season, the region will see storms dropping 20-30 centimetres at a time. This will be a good winter for big storms.”

Normal day temps of -4C, and lows of -12C will be the exception. Lappo predicts that we’ll see greater variability in temperatures, with periods of mild weather alternating with storms and bitter cold.

Causing all this unpredictable weather is La Nada, a stable weather system over the lower Pacific that will funnel warm wet air from the lower U.S. into Canada where it collides with colder Arctic air, making the winter of 2013-2014 an epic year for shovelling.

The forecast for the rest of the country is normal in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, below normal in B.C., above normal in Quebec and the Maritimes and below or at normal in Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

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