White Christmas

Light snow falls on Boxing Day, Truro, NS, 26 Dec 2019 (Dearing)

Despite a relatively snow-free December, Greater Moncton still managed to have a White Christmas this year after all – but just barely.

Environment Canada reports 2 cm of snow on the ground at the airport Christmas morning which fits its official definition.

Other parts of southern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia did not have snow including in Truro where I spent the holiday.

Meteorologists say odds of a White Christmas have decreased in recent years.

Here are the odds for select Canadian cities (1994-2017 versus 1955-2017):

  • Moncton – 65% / 73%
  • Fredericton – 50% / 76%
  • Saint John – 45% / 60%
  • Charlottetown – 55% / 78%
  • Halifax – 40% / 54%
  • Montreal – 70% / 76%
  • Toronto – 45% / 52%
  • Winnipeg – 100% / 98%
  • Calgary – 60% / 59%
  • Vancouver – 10% / 10%

Manitoba declares state of emergency

A wintry scene in Winnipeg, 12 Oct 2014 (Facebook/Winnipeg)

The Manitoba government declared a state of emergency on Saturday after a powerful storm dumped heavy rain, freezing rain, snow and wind to southern portions of the province this week.

Amid the early winter blast, Manitoba Hydro is trying to restore electricity to thousands of residents after numerous trees and branches – many still covered in leaves – fell onto power lines with winds gusting up to 100 km/h.

The storm was so bad it forced the temporary closure of the Trans Canada Highway from Winnipeg to the Saskatchewan border.

Southern Manitoba got blasted after a Colorado Low moved in from the United States where it brought dramatic temperature drops and heavy snow to the Great Plains states.

The next concern for local emergency measures officials will be flooding as the snow melts given the rising temperatures forecasted over the next few days.

Snowfall totals as of 1pm CDT on Saturday, October 12th:

  • Carberry  74 cm
  • Morden  64 cm
  • Winnipeg  34 cm
  • Dauphin  30 cm
  • Brandon  29 cm

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Severe weather in Manitoba, NW Ontario

tstorms
After a hot and windy day across southern Manitoba, severe thunderstorms developed late Friday afternoon with heavy rain, hail and lightning strikes causing at least one grass fire.

Daytime highs soared to 36.6°C in Winnipeg and 37.3°C in Carman which was the hot spot in Canada.

Temperatures dropped dramatically after the storms rolled through and damaging winds up to 100 km/h were reported in some areas along with nickel-sized hail.

The heat and thunderstorms moved east into northwestern Ontario with Kenora reaching 33.0°C yesterday and Armstrong climbing to 32.3°C today.

White Christmas

While much of Canada is covered in white on this Christmas Day, many of the major cities are without a snow cover.

Only the Prairie cities of Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton were guaranteed a White Christmas.

Recent heavy rain and warm temperatures have erased the snow pack across Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southern New Brunswick.

Traditionally Greater Moncton has a 65 percent chance of having a White Christmas.

Today, the airport recorded 3 cm of snow lying on the ground but much of the city and surrounding area have no snow cover at all.

White Christmas across Canada

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Barely white on Christmas morning in Truro, NS, 25 December 2017 (Dearing)

Technically in Truro, Nova Scotia, it wasn’t a White Christmas with snow falling later in the morning which changed to freezing rain, ice pellets and eventually rain.

But by late afternoon, winds gusted to almost 100 km/h which knocked down trees and power lines leaving thousands in the dark on Christmas Day.

In Greater Moncton, snow and blowing snow were factors on December 25 with about 20 cm accumulating – the heaviest snowfall so far this season.

Across Canada, Vancouver had a trace of white for Christmas while Victoria had 3 cm of snow.

Calgary is still digging out from a 30 cm snowfall a few days ago, Winnipeg had its coldest Christmas in 20 years plunging to -30 C and Toronto picked up 10 cm during the day.

Record scorcher in Manitoba

Courtesy The Weather Network

Courtesy The Weather Network

An unstable air mass brought excessive heat to Manitoba yesterday where it climbed to a record 35.4 C in Swan River – the hotspot in Canada.

Winnipeg was toasty at a record 33.3 C and even Thompson in the province’s far north was very warm at 30.2 C.

But the heat was short-lived when severe thunderstorms rolled across the province and into Ontario.

Temperatures ranged from the high 20’s in Northern Ontario to the low 20’s in Southern Ontario.

Summer of 2013 so far…

Dickson Falls, Fundy National Park, 21 July 2013 (Dearing)

Dickson Falls, Fundy National Park, 21 July 2013 (Dearing)

We are now about six weeks into the summer of 2013 in Canada and it is time to assess the season to date.

Since astronomical summer began on 21 June, temperatures and precipitation have been generally above normal across the country except for the West Coast where it has been dry and the Prairies where it has been cooler than normal.

Here is a list of major cities across the country and how they compare to normal:

Moncton, NB……+2.1°C above normal temperature and 145% of normal rainfall

Saint John, NB…..+1.9 and 180%

Halifax, NS…….+2.4 and 141%

Charlottetown, PEI…..+1.0 and 91%

St. John’s, NL…..+1.5 and 118%

Montreal, QC…..+2.0 and 122%

Ottawa, ON…..+1.0 and 118%

Toronto, ON…….+2.3 and 284%

Winnipeg, MB……+0.4 and 112%

Regina, SK…..-0.1 and 43%

Edmonton, AB…..-0.1 and 103%

Calgary, AB……+0.5 and 76%

Vancouver, BC…..+1.5 and 71%

Whitehorse, YT…..+2.2 and 162%

Yellowknife, NT…..+1.9 and 42%

(Data courtesy Accuweather.com)

Cold spring on the Prairies

About 25 cm snow fell in Dauphin, MB, 01 May 2013 (CTV)

About 25 cm snow fell in Dauphin, MB, 01 May 2013 (CTV)

Parts of Manitoba received more than 40 cm of snow today during a spring which has yet to really arrive across the Prairies.

As much as 20 cm of snow fell in neighbouring Saskatchewan yesterday which forced some roads to close down.

Most of the major Prairie cities had big drops in their April average temperatures including:

Regina 6.3°C below normal

Edmonton 4.7°C below normal

Winnipeg 4.5°C below normal

Calgary 3.0°C below normal

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Chance of White Christmas

Downtown Moncton covered in snow (Dearing file)

Downtown Moncton covered in snow (Dearing file)

Given how huge Canada is, the chances of having a White Christmas depend on where you live.

The odds are less likely if you live along the West Coast, East Coast or Southern Ontario.

The odds are more likely if you live in the territories, Northern Ontario, Northern Quebec, Labrador, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

In Greater Moncton, Environment Canada says from 1955-2011, we had a 74% chance of having a White Christmas with the odds less likely in more recent years.

Here’s a sample list of cities across Canada:

St. John’s 63%
Halifax 58%
Fredericton 77%
Quebec City 98%
Montreal 77%
Ottawa 81%
Toronto 46%
Winnipeg 98%
Calgary 56%
Vancouver 11%
Yellowknife 100%

Snow moves east

Snow in Kenora, ON, 05 October 2012 (TWN)

The snow that fell in British Columbia and Alberta earlier this week has moved east giving southern Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario quite a dumping.

While Winnipeg escaped the worst of the snowstorm, areas to the south and east got hit hard with as much as 30 cm of snow reported.

The heavy, wet snow brought down trees, many of which still have leaves, and power lines leaving thousands without electricity.

Environment Canada says moisture from the south collided with Arctic air from the north bringing the region an early taste of winter.