The weather phenomenon La Nina will bring Canada the coldest winter in nearly 15 years, Environment Canada warned Friday.
Environment Canada's temperature forecast
shows the majority of the country will experience a "temperature anomaly" of below-normal temperatures through the months of December, January and February.
Much of Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and parts of British Columbia and southern Ontario will also see above-normal precipitation.
David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, told The Canadian Press that the temperature and precipitation abnormalities are likely the result of the weather phenomenon La Nina.
La Nina, meaning the little girl, is the appearance of cooler-than-normal waters in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean.
"La Nina is thought to occur due to increases in the strength of the normal patterns of trade wind circulation," Environment Canada's website says.
"For reasons not yet fully understood, periodically these trade winds are strengthened, increasing the amount of cooler water."
These cooler waters result in wetter-than-normal conditions in the northern hemisphere and changes to the jet stream over North America.
"The shifted jet stream contributes to large departures from the normal location and strength of storm paths. The overall changes in the atmosphere result in temperature and precipitation anomalies over North America which can persist for several months," Environment Canada says.
In the past, La Nina caused drought and floods around the world. It also whips up more hurricanes in the Atlantic.
The effects of the weather phenomenon have already been felt in parts of Western Canada. Earlier this month, a fierce storm dumped nearly 80 centimetres of snow on Whistler, B.C. over 48 hours. The massive snowfall prompted management at the famous Whistler Blackcomb ski hill to open one week ahead of schedule