Only in Canada would you talk about a snow drought.

But with a piddling 25 cm of snow in Toronto so far this year, less than a quarter as much as by this time last year, weather expert Dave Phillips is calling a spade a spade — and certainly not a snow shovel.

“Where is the snow? It’s just not to be found. We’re really into a snow drought here in Toronto,” said the senior climatologist for Environment Canada on a weekend where rain falling on earlybird golfers has given January an identity crisis.

Blame it on El-Nino, says Phillips; that warm weather system is saving taxpayers on snowplows and sparing drivers from black ice. But it’s also left parkas and shovels to gather dust on store shelves, as the January thaw starts to stretch to two weeks.

While travel agents say they keep booking couples on getaways to the Dominican Republic and Mexico no matter what January skies dish out — “it’s still gloomy here compared to 20 C and sun in the south,” says agent Margaret Modeste — there are some clear winners and losers to such topsy-turvy temperatures.

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