Sunday, December 06, 2015

This may be the best December ever - if you don't like snow

My former Publisher at the Gravelbourg Tribune in southern Saskatchewan sent me this picture of Santa sitting on dry ground. Even normally snowy Saskatchewan is void of snow this December. (Photo: P. Boisvert - Tribune)
It is another mild December morning on L'Ile Perrot, at 3C (39F). I washed my car in the driveway yesterday as did many of my neighbours and walked the dog this morning in a jacket normally reserved for October. No matter how you look at it, this is one mild month. Expect more of the same this week, with dry, mild weather through late week. Daytime highs will range from 3 to 7C (39 to 45F) with mild overnight lows of -3C to plus 4C (27 to 41F). Next week looks even warmer.

So far in Montreal, the first 12 hours of December were below freezing, but it has been above the 0C mark ever since. From coast to coast Canadians are enjoying the mild effects of one of the strongest El Nino's on record. The cold air is trapped across the far north. But even there it is not as cold as usual. In Churchill, Manitoba, the Polar Bear Capital of North America,  Friday was the warmest December 4th on record with a high of -2.4C. Numerous daytime record highs were broken from the far west into Ontario. The overnight lows have been just as mild with Montreal dropping only to 5C (41F) Friday night, the normal should be -9C (16F) with a normal daytime high of -1C (30F). The warmer than normal start to December has meant any precipitation that falls has been in the liquid form with only 0.2cm of snow falling at Trudeau Airport in Dorval.

If you like snow, you are out of luck. Looking ahead the entire month looks warm with the unprecedented possibility of every daytime high being above freezing in Montreal. How rare is this? I looked back at the data for Trudeau Airport as far back as 1941 and no December has ever been entirely above freezing for daytime highs. I am still looking at the McGill University weather records which date back to 1871. This is truly a rare event. So prepare yourselves for a green Christmas, because if I was a betting man, I would say that is where the odds lie.

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