DIY for El Niño 2015-2016

DIY for El Niño 2015-2016

We’re in the midst of an El Niño year again, and weird weather is happening all over Canada. Being prepared for what’s coming this year can help you make the most of an El Niño year as you check DIY items of your list. Here’s what to expect in each part of the country, and some ideas about DIY projects to take on as a result.


Warm in Western Canada

For some of us, El Niño is great news; that’s certainly true in Western Canada this year. Above- and well above-normal temperatures along with mild air currents from the Pacific are what the El Niño winter is all about in the West. This year is an especially nice one for Western Canada as there will more snow in the resort areas than in the 2014-2015 season but milder temperatures overall. Most heavier snows will come before January.

typhoon science

What’s the DIY plan for the El Niño winter in the West?

  • Plan to get more done outdoors than you normally might in winter.

Mild and Dry in the Central Prairies

El Niño means that the Polar jet stream moves south for the winter, and that’s great news for places like Calgary, Edmonton, and Regina. You’ll be feeling far less frigid Polar air all winter long. And the dryness of the El Niño winter in this area means fewer snowfall events as storm patterns hit our southern neighbors instead.

Your DIY reminders for this winter:

  • If you’ve been waiting for a chance to repaint your home, this is the perfect time to do it.
  • Don’t start massive new gardening projects even though it’s deceptively warm; drying winds can dehydrate gardens.

Icy, Stormy Weather in Quebec and Ontario

While El Niño will make this winter warmer than usual in Quebec, there will be a trade off. In particular from eastern Ontario through the southern region of Quebec Canadians will experience a higher incidence of ice storms. The silver lining in Ontario is that lake-effect snows will be lighter than normal and will shift south towards the US by January and February. Not so for those from Quebec who will likely experience more significant snowfall events than usual.

DIY plans for the icy El Niño weather:

  • Get a jump on leaks and drainage issues before mid-January.
  • In case of significant snowfall or ice buildup, use heavier equipment such as a mini-excavator with a blade attachment to clear the ground.

Atlantic Canada: Mild but Stormy

El Niño and warmer overall temperatures in the surface waters of the Atlantic ocean will mean that winter in Atlantic Canada will be milder than usual. January and February will be the snowiest months and may seem more “normal” than the rest of winter, but particularly in Nova Scotia snow storms will often warm up and turn into icy rain this year. Newfoundland will likely see fewer storms during this unusually mild season.

El Niño DIY tips for Atlantic Canada:

  • If you do find yourself homebound, this could be a great time to take on larger inside projects that require a little outside time; with fewer storms brewing you’ll have a better chance to refinish or repaint cabinets and other large pieces inside and take advantage of some outdoor drying time.

Happy El Niño Winter!

Winter is the least favorite season for many, but with El Niño in play this could be a unique winter across the country. If you’re a committed DIYer, plan ahead for this interesting season.