Muskoka To-DAILY

Early start to winter continues well into January, says Environment Canada

Mark Clairmont |
Cold enough for you?

It's been all hands on the shovels and snowplows this winter as the snow and cold keep on coming.

It’s been all hands on the shovels and snowplows this winter as the snow and cold keep on coming.

It’s not the minus 36 reported last week — but it sure feels like it with or without the wind chill.
At least the snowmobilers will be happy. Some years the season hasn’t even fully started by now; but many trails are now open and fully groomed.
But bundle up and brace yourself for 48 more hours at least — as the Arctic outbreak of bitterly cold weather affecting all of Ontario will persist into the second week of January.
So says Environment Canada, which adds that next week we can expect some moderation in the temperatures — ”although our confidence regarding the timing of this moderation is low.”
It’s a continuation of December’s early winter this season, says meteorologist Geoff Coulson in his first update of the year from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
He says although the warm temperatures experienced at the end of November persisted into the first week of December, the month ended up well below normal for most of the province.
Some days stood out as being particularly cold, like December 13-14 with anomalies of 8 to 10°C.
However a true Arctic air mass invaded the province from the northwest beginning on Christmas Day, and maintained the whole province in the grip of a deep freeze through until the end of 2017.
Daily anomalies reached -12 to -16°C with extreme cold warnings being issued, warning of wind chill values of -30 or below for southern Ontario, -35/-40 or below for eastern and northern Ontario, and -45 to -50 in the far north.
Roads continue to be tricky, if not treacherous at times, so drivers are warned to use extreme caution.

Roads continue to be tricky, if not treacherous at times, so drivers are warned to use extreme caution.

However, for the month as a whole, Coulson reports that December temperatures were actually below normal, with anomalies of -2 to -5°C across the province. In the Far North of the province, December temperatures were closer to normal.
For the month of December, northwestern Ontario received normal to above-normal precipitation amounts, while most of eastern and southern Ontario received below-normal amounts.
The year 2017 ended with record precipitation totals for certain areas of eastern Ontario, notably Ottawa, where the unofficial (airport) total is 1348 mm, beating the old record of 1175 mm in 1972, and 43 per cent above the average of 943 mm.

Severe Weather
The month of December 2017 will likely be remembered most for the brutally cold temperatures which invaded the province after Christmas, producing the high wind chill values and triggering extreme cold warnings. As mentioned above, precipitation was on the light side for southern and eastern Ontario. However there were a few notable storm events across the province. Early in the month, a winter storm in northwestern Ontario on December 4-5 produced significant snowfalls: 30-35 cm in Kenora and Rawson Lake (preceded by freezing rain), 50 cm in Pickle Lake. Power outages and transportation impacts were associated with this storm. Southern Ontario received a 10-15 cm snow event on Dec. 11-12 with numerous school-related and transportation impacts; the same day Sudbury reported 33 cm of snow. An Alberta Clipper dumped 15 cm on Windsor on Dec.14-15. Ottawa received a memorable 17-cm snowstorm on Dec. 18-19, memorable for the long drive to work or school experienced on the 19th, the result of 9 cm of snow falling from 5 to 8 AM – exactly coinciding with the morning commute. And throughout the month of December, a number of significant lake-effect snow events dumped significant snowfalls over the typical snow-belt areas bordering Lake Superior, Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

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Posted by on Jan 5 2018. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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