12/07/2011 09:00 EST | Updated 02/06/2012 05:12 EST

Canada Winter Weather Forecast: Colder Temps Out West, More Snow In Ontario, Quebec Says AccuWeather

CP File

TORONTO - The kind of winter you're in for depends entirely on which side of the country you live in — but take heart Canada, it's not expected to be a particularly brutal season.

Residents of Western Canada should hunker down for a colder than normal winter while those on the East Coast can look forward to a milder season, according to predictions for the country from meteorologists at AccuWeather.

But when it comes to snow, the residents of Ontario and Quebec should ready their shovels for a little more of the white stuff than normal, although they can take solace in the fact that temperatures won't be as frigid.

"I guess you could call it a mixed bag, but that's probably pretty typical of any winter in Canada — one part of the country is going to end up having an easier winter than normal while another part of the country gets hit harder," said senior meteorologist Jack Boston.

"As you divide Canada into two pieces right around Winnipeg, east of there it's probably going to be a little less harsh than it usually is and west of that line it's going to be harsher than it is temperature wise."

Those in the Atlantic provinces can expect a tamer season but those in the southern Maritimes should brace for a mix of rain and snow for the second half of the winter.

Over in Quebec, ski and snow board enthusiasts can look forward to a good season north of Montreal and Quebec City once the new year begins.

Meanwhile, northern and central Ontario can expect above normal snowfall while southwestern parts of the province are predicted to have milder temperatures which could lead to more rain.

Ottawa, Toronto, London, Ont., Sudbury, Ont., and NorthBay, Ont., will likely see a stormier, snowier winter, but it won't be that frigid, said Boston.

He warned however that residents of Ontario and Quebec should get their winter tires on and brace for episodes of icy roads and snowy driving conditions over the next few months.

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The Prairies are expected to get cold, dry and windy conditions for much of the winter with below-normal precipitation and snow days predicted for much of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Those living in Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg will be whipped by the wind and chilled by the cold thanks to a stronger northern jet stream, but they can expect few snowstorms.

Further west, Alberta is bracing for a typical harsh winter but it's British Columbia which is predicted to get notably lower than normal temperatures thanks to a stream of Arctic air bearing down on the regions.

"Western Canada is where you should be prepared for the extreme cold," said Boston. "We think temperatures are going to be below to much below normal this winter basically from the southern Yukon down through B.C., Alberta and into southern Saskatchewan."

Boston cautions those out west to take care against the looming frigid conditions and dress appropriately for the weather.

AccuWeather meteorologists are even expecting Vancouver and Victoria to experience one of their top three coldest winters in the region in the past 20 years.