‘It’s quite remarkable’: Halifax set to set record due to lack of snow

Halifax hasn’t seen any snowdrifts or snowplows so far this winter, and the lack of long-lasting flakes is about to break a record.

Saturday will break the record for the last date in winter without having at least two centimeters of snow on the ground at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, according to Jim Abraham, president of the Canadian Meteorological Oceanographic Society.

While the rest of the country is ravaged by snow and ice, Nova Scotia is an exception.

« We haven’t had any significant snow in Halifax, actually less than two centimeters the whole month, » Abraham said in an interview Friday. « That’s quite remarkable since normal December snowfall in Halifax is around 45 centimeters. »

Abraham said the record was set in 2012 when the province « had another remarkably mild, snowless year, » and the snow didn’t arrive until Dec. 30.

This year, with no snow forecast until Saturday, it will be the first time the region has gone through December without two centimeters of snow on the ground.

Abraham said that since the airport is inland, it receives more snow on average than the city’s downtown area. It recorded just 1.4 centimeters this month, meaning even less accumulation near Halifax Harbour.

MacLeod said many winter golfers are prepared for the conditions. (Noah James Media)

The lack of snow is good news for Halifax-area golf courses.

Doug MacLeod, acting manager of Indian Lake Golf Course, said the course will remain open until it is covered in snow or soaked by rain.

He said many golfers are hardy. He said the course was full on December 30 and 31.

« Everyone is thrilled, » he said. « There are a lot of sports team outfits on the course and you can hear a lot of cheering around the course right now. »

MacLeod said while it’s « absolutely fantastic » for businesses to have golf in the winter, it’s quite unexpected.

He said it’s unusual to have such hot temperatures at the end of December. « It’s definitely not seasonal for this time of year here in Nova Scotia. »

MacLeod said that over the past few years he has noticed a change in weather patterns, with snow arriving later. He said he expects more snow in January, which will cause the course to switch to indoor simulators only.

Snowy winter could still be in the cards

Abraham said this observation is backed up by science and that no snow at the start of the season does not necessarily mean a mild winter.

He pointed to past winters like 2015 when snow, ice and freezing rain plagued the province until April, and said things can change quickly.

« The fact that we didn’t have a lot of snow in December, and it looks like we’re starting in January…pretty mild, doesn’t really indicate what it will be like towards the second half of the year. winter in February and March, » he said.

Abraham said changing weather patterns are consistent with a changing climate, and the lack of ice on the waters surrounding Atlantic Canada could actually cause more snow.

This means that the intense winter weather that has hit the rest of Canada could hit us later.

« When the cold air gets here, because let’s face it, it will get here, we’ll have our period of colder than normal temperatures, » he said. « We’re going to have a lot of open water…and it’s going to be a really good supply of moisture for cold air and storms.

« And so it’s possible that the fact that we started above normal could contribute to snowier than normal weather. »


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