Calgary breaks 76-year snowfall record on Friday, adding to unusually snowy year

Snowy blanketed Calgary on Friday. Global News

Calgarians found themselves navigating a nasty drive home on Friday as a band of snow blanketed the region.

Snowfall warnings were issued around 5 p.m. for Calgary, and areas north, east and south of the city. That warning stayed in place until early Saturday morning.

Environment Canada said Saturday that 13.2 cm of snow fell on Friday, which marks a new snowfall record for Nov. 23. The previous record was set in 1942 when 9.4 cm of snow fell.

November is normally the third snowiest month of the year with an average of 16.6 cm of snow over the 30 days. This year, Calgary has experienced a higher-than-average amount of snow for the month, already sitting at 23.7 cm as of Nov. 23.

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This comes on the heels of a historically wet October that brought nearly five times the average amount of snow, ending the month with 48.4 cm of snow.

According to Environment Canada historical data, there has been a notable uptick of days with heavy accumulations of snow this year. Calgary will usually see one to two days with snowfall accumulations of at least 10 cm throughout the year; so far in 2018, there have been four days with over 10 cm of snow, one each in February, March, October and November.

Throughout the year, there are usually seven days with snowfall accumulations above five centimetres in Calgary. This year, there have been 14 days since the beginning of 2018 that measured at least five centimetres of snow.

When it comes to weather, precipitation is often discussed in terms of seasons rather than over the span of an entire year.

However, if you look at the broader picture, Calgary had nearly achieved its annual average snowfall this year by the end of April. We typically see 128.8 cm of snow over the course of the year. As of April 30, Calgary had already recorded 120.8 cm of snow. Usually, about 35 per cent of the annual average snowfall in Calgary occurs between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

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