(Wind storm/Scott Bolder/Instagram)

As the weather starts to get cooler and pumpkin spiced lattes make their comeback, everyone is starting to gear up for the fall and winter seasons.

Victoria Buzz spoke with Armel Castellan, Environment Canada’s Regional Meteorologist for Vancouver Island, and it looks like BC’s south coast is in for a relatively warm winter, mainly thanks to the weather pattern, El Niño.

El Niño is a climate cycle that occurs when warm water in the western Pacific Ocean shifts eastward along the equator toward the coast of South America. This can affect weather across the world and lead to rising temperatures and more precipitation in some regions.

Warmer and with more rain

According to Castellan, British Columbia’s coast has a 70-80% chance of getting higher than normal temperatures this winter. The same percentage applies to the probability of having a whole week of El Niño weather pattern envelope the coast during the months of December, January, and February.

When it comes to precipitation, Castellan says we’re in for a lot of it – but it won’t be as much snow as we’ve seen in the last couple of years. So while Environment Canada’s early forecast predicts a warmer winter, it also means that we’ll see a higher proportion of rain than snow.

(Long term weather forecast/Environment Canada)

For preliminary predictions such as these, it is important to keep in mind that they are not entirely accurate. In fact, in the past, the organization has only been 25% accurate in its long term weather predictions.

Closer to the present

For now, Islanders can expect temperatures to drop starting this Friday, September 7th, as an active storm cycle heads our way.

The entire province can expect a fair amount of rain “which is good news for the areas affected by droughts and wildfires,” says Castellan.

So this weekend might not be a bad time to go shopping for a new coat while sipping on a hot beverage of choice!

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