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Colder winter in forecast

By Erica Bulman, 24 Hours Vancouver

Get ready to bundle up as this winter could be one of the top-three coldest in Vancouver in the last 20 years because of La Niña, according to It's also expected to be drier than normal.

"We might see twice as many outbreaks of Arctic air coming in, cold spells of freezing temperatures during the daytime," said Brett Anderson, a senior meteorologist at the private forecaster.

The temperature is expected to average about 1.4 Celsius this winter, two degrees lower than usual, Anderson told 24 hours.

A moderate-strength La Niña is expected to quell precipitation. While that means less rain, the colder temperatures mean more of the precipitation will likely be snow.

La Niña usually occurs every four years, but about once a decade it happens in consecutive years.

The phenomenon occurs when sea surface temperatures across the equatorial central and eastern Pacific are below normal, influencing the jet stream and often producing extreme cold outbreaks across Western Canada.

Councillor Kerry Jang plans to move a motion at city hall next week, calling on the province to provide ongoing funding for Vancouver's low-barrier HEAT shelters.