Winnipeg winter has third-highest snowfall since 1872: meteorologist

Click to play video: 'Snow piles keep growing'
Snow piles keep growing
Snow piles keep growing – Feb 22, 2022

If you feel like Winnipeg has received more snow than usual this year, you aren’t wrong. The amount of snow dumped on the city so far this winter is among the highest since records have been kept, beginning in the late 19th Century.

Retired meteorologist Rob Paola told 680 CJOB that as of Feb. 20, only two years have seen more of the white stuff than we have this season.

“Winnipeg has so far this winter, picked up 157 cm of snow,” Paola said.

“That puts us in the third-most amount of snow up to this point since we’ve kept track of snowfall records in Winnipeg — extending back to 1872.”

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Most of that snow, Paola said, has fallen since Dec. 21. Up to that point, the city wasn’t looking at anything remarkable in terms of precipitation.

“We had about 37 cm of snow (up to Dec. 21), which was actually a little bit below average for our snowfall up to that point,” he said.

“Over the past 60 days, we’ve picked up 120 cm of snow. That’s an average of about 15 cm a week for two straight months.”

The rest of Manitoba is struggling with snow as well, as seen in this picture from east of Rosenfeld, Man.
The rest of Manitoba is struggling with snow as well, as seen in this picture from east of Rosenfeld, Man. Submitted / Frank Rempel

Although frustration with shovelling excess snow has been pretty universal, Paola said one group that won’t be complaining is farmers, who will be able to replenish their parched soil after dealing with drought conditions last year.

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“It’s going to be a lot better than the situation we were in last year where we had very minimal snow cover.

“The snow cover was gone by the first week of march last year and there wasn’t much precipitation in spring, and that led to the extreme dryness in the summer as well.”

Click to play video: 'Snowmobile crashes in Manitoba'
Snowmobile crashes in Manitoba

The massive amount of snow has Manitoba Hydro reminding homeowners to take extra steps to prevent any damage.

“If your furnace isn’t working at you 100 per cent, you’re going to feel it pretty quick,” said Hydro spokesman Bruce Owen.

Owen said it’s important to check your gas meter and clear it if any snow.

“There’s a regulator and there’s a little valve on it, if it gets clogged with snow, it interferes with the performance of your gas meter and the gas coming in to your house.”

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Those with high efficiency furnaces should also make sure their sidewall vents are free of ice and snow build up. There’s a fresh air intake and an exhaust that look like white tubes, Owen said.

“If they are snow drifted or covered with snow, you’re not getting fresh air in to your furnace, nor is it exhausting.

“They may not be kicking on or running as it should, just because it’s blocked with snow.”

Hydro is also encouraging Manitobans to clear a path to their gas meter so that Hydro employees can access them take meter readings.

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