Snowy, yes, just not record-breaking snowy

Andrew Robinson
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St. John’s records above-average snowfall but nowhere near the accumulation of 2000-01

It has been a snowier than average December in St. John’s, but information compiled by Environment Canada indicates this winter is nowhere in the vicinity of matching the capital city’s record-setting winter more than a decade ago.

Chris Peters scales a snowbank in St. John’s, his two-year-old daughter Anna strapped to his back, during Friday’s snowfall. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Friday’s unofficial snowfall of 13 centimetres at St. John’s International Airport brings the total amount for the month as of Dec. 27 to 91 centimetres.

As of the same date in December 2000, the total snow recorded was 157.2 centimetres. By the end of that month, the total reached 173.4 centimetres.

Total snowfall for the record-setting winter of 2000-01 in St. John’s was 648.4 centimetres.

According to Environment Canada meteorologist Linda Libby, this December’s snowfall has exceeded the average amount for December over the last 30 years of approximately 64.5 centimetres.

“You are significantly higher than normal this year — it’s just not near the record-breaking year,” she said.

This December is noticeably chillier than the one that experienced the record-setting snowfall. The average mean temperature as of Dec. 24, 2013 is -3.4 C. In December 2000, the average mean temperature for the month was -2.3 C.

Another snowy December of recent memory in St. John’s was in 2007, when 134.6 centimetres of snow fell.

“It’s still really significantly higher than what we’ve got so far this December,” said Libby, who is based out of Charlottetown, P.E.I.

There remains a possibility that more snow will fall on St. John’s before the month is over. Libby said Monday’s expected weather system could bring an additional 5-10 centimetres.

“It’s not set in stone yet,” she added, noting it depends on where the weather system tracks.

Friday’s snowfall made for treacherous driving through much of the Avalon Peninsula.

Holyrood RCMP Cpl. Dion Foote reported in the morning that roads were covered in snow and very slippery. He advised drivers to stay off the roads unless it was absolutely necessary. Police in Clarenville offered the same advice to motorists.

All municipal facilities were closed in St. John’s and Mount Pearl. Several morning and noon-hour flights scheduled to depart from St. John’s to Halifax and Toronto were cancelled.

Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: International Airport, Environment Canada, RCMP

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Clarenville, Mount Pearl Halifax Toronto

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