"Well, how's more stormy conditions sound for everyone? That's probably not good at this point in time. That's definitely what this week is setting up to be."

That's Environment Canada's meteorologist Brian Proctor. He explains what's happening in the atmosphere. 

"We're bringing a bit of an impulse in -- another clipper -- from Alberta, more than anything else this evening. That's going to really bring in some more wet snow."

He notes they're getting a feel for what we can expect by observing what's currently taking place in Alberta.

"I don't expect to see a ton of snow with this one that we saw last week," adds Proctor. "I wouldn't be surprised, though, to see a two-to-four-centimetres kind of idea overnight tonight into Wednesday, and then gradually tapering off Wednesday afternoon. So really, they're more unsettled conditions. We see a little bit of sunshine on Thursday and then another impulse comes in on Friday."

Proctor explains the best way to look at this is that we're experiencing a very slow start to spring.

He notes this has been a typical La Nina winter.

"They tend to be very slow to ease off," adds Proctor. "They bring a very gradual transition into spring. The only good thing about this is it tends to slow down some of the melt for us. But at the same point in time, we're accumulating more and more snow. So, right now, even the forecast through to through Monday still looks quite unsettled at this point in time and quite cool, hinting at maybe getting a little bit warmer by the middle of next week. So, it's heavy till the end of the month."

He says he doesn't put much confidence in a rapid warm-up with a pattern such as this. 

Proctor outlines the significance of a La Niña.

"We see a lot of cold water building up in the Equatorial Pacific, and it links in the atmosphere to the North Pacific by a number of procedures in a number of teleconnections, we would turn them, in the atmosphere," adds Proctor. "We get a bit of a northwest flow coming into Western Canada with his pattern and that northwest flow tends to be cool and unsettled. That's really what we experienced for much, much of the winter this year, and lingering into spring. We really have to start warming that water up in the Equatorial Pacific and really starting to change the way that the atmosphere and the ocean are interacting in the Gulf of Alaska for things to significantly change."

He says a La Niña tends to slow down that transformation.

"It slows down that warming in the Gulf of Alaska, which allows that northwest flow aloft to persist," notes Proctor.  

Proctor adds the frequency of a La Niña is part of a cycle. 

"We tend to get normal conditions, then we get La Niñas, then we also get El Niño which is the opposite of La Niña, and that's a building up of warm water in the Equatorial Pacific. It tends to give us warmer and drier conditions in across the prairies and Western Canada," explains Proctor. "So, they tend to fluctuate on about a three to four-year cycle, but we can often go for extended periods of time without seeing either La Niña or an El Niño. It's just a matter of this phenomena, sort of, interacting with the normal climate variability we see." 

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