It may be milder this winter, but that doesn’t mean we should put away the snow shovels.

Glancing into his meteorologist’s crystal ball, Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips said many Maritimers can expect a more old-fashioned winter in terms of snowfall. The good news is it won’t be as cold.

Phillips said this year will be a La Nina winter. That generally means bad news for Western Canada. For Eastern Canada, models through January are indicating the weather to be warmer and drier.

“Historically, when you get La Nina it tends to be a toss-up, but the models are saying now that we’ve had the warmest January to September ever and there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue,” Phillips said.

“We shouldn’t be paranoid that, because we came through a warm season, winter is going to beat us up, but we feel that even if it’s warmer and drier, it will still be tougher than last winter.”

Phillips said many areas of the Maritimes had lower-than-normal snowfalls and warmer temperatures, making it an almost non-event. Winter started later last year and ended earlier.

“You started early this year with good weather and have been on a roll. We don’t think it’s over, but at the same time, while it may be warmer and drier than it has been over the last 30 years, based on last year, it’s going to be more like an old-fashioned winter,” he said.

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