It was a rare brown Christmas for portions of southern MB and much of North Dakota this year as the spell of unseasonably mild and dry weather that has persisted much of December continued through the Christmas holiday weekend. Much of the southern and western Red River valley (incl Emerson (above left), Morden and Carman) , southwest MB (Pilot Mound to Melita) and much of North Dakota (Grand Forks, right) were snowfree Christmas morning.. the first time this has happened since at least 1997. In Winnipeg, there was a little more snow around with about 2 cm on the ground Christmas day (an official "white" Christmas here) although most large open fields in and around the city had little or no snow cover (see webcam shots from south Winnipeg and Sanford). This is the lowest Christmas day snowdepth in Winnipeg since 1997 when a trace was officially observed at Winnipeg airport during a strong El Nino winter.
Satellite photos (left) show the minimal snow cover extent across southern MB and North Dakota, with little snow evident over the southern and western Red River valley and North Dakota and Minnesota.. which normally would be covered in white by this time of year. Click here for an explanation on this winter's slow start. Whether it was brown, white or green.. here's hoping everyone had a happy and healthy Christmas! All the best in 2012!