Halifax set to break record for least snowy winter, expert says

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Halifax set to break record for least snowy winter
WATCH: If Halifax doesn’t see a snowfall of at least five centimetres by tomorrow – which is not expected – it’ll be a record. Alicia Draus has more – Jan 14, 2023

It’s been a mild winter so far in Nova Scotia.

Saturday’s rain and temperatures peaking in the double digits is weather more typically seen in October or November, and is unusual for the middle of January.

READ MORE: Halifax breaks record for lowest end-of-year snowfall

As of noon on Saturday, Halifax was actually the warmest place in the country and the warm weather means there’s no snow.

“This has been the least snowiest year if I’m looking at the records for the Halifax airport, in the history of Halifax,” said Jim Abraham, president of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Abraham notes that typically by this point in winter, Halifax would have seen about 90 cm of snow, but this year there’s been no more than six cm and there’s been no snowfall that’s reached five cm — a record as of Sunday.

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“We’ve never gone past the middle of January without getting five cm [snowfall]. We haven’t had a five cm snowfall yet,” Abraham said.

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Abraham says there’s no doubt that climate change is playing a factor. This year, the ocean surrounding Atlantic Canada has been about three to five degrees warmer than usual.

Click to play video: 'Winter Safety for our Furry Friends'
Winter Safety for our Furry Friends

But even though winters are expected to be milder on average due to rising temperatures globally, this year’s lack of snow is still unusual.

Abraham says another factor could be that it’s a La Nina year.

“La Ninas, although they don’t have a big impact on the east coast because it’s a Pacific anomaly, it actually does result in colder than normal winters in western Canada,” said Abraham.

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“Because the atmosphere travels in waves, if it’s colder in the west, it’s warmer in the east.”

Temperatures are expected to remain above average throughout January, but Abraham says that February and March are expected to be closer to normal.

“We will get snow, it’s just a matter of when.”

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