The lack of snow this month in Winnipeg and southern MB is becoming quite evident with barely any snow on the ground just 10 days before Christmas. In Winnipeg, only 0.8 cm of snow has fallen so far this month as of the 15th, with only a couple of cm still on the ground. Parts of the southern Red River valley are actually snow free as is much of eastern North Dakota.. raising the prospect of a possible brown (or "green") Christmas this year with little in the way of significant snowfalls expected over the next week or so.
In Winnipeg, the 0.8 cm of snow so far this month is well below the monthly average of 19.8 cm.. and is on pace to be one of the least snowiest Decembers on record if the snow drought continues. The last December in Winnipeg with less than 10 cm of snow for the month was December 1997 when only 7.3 cm fell during a strong El Nino winter. Below is a list of Winnipeg's top 10 least snowy Decembers since records began in 1872.
Top 10 least snowy Decembers in Winnipeg (since 1872)
1. 1877 ............ 0.5 cm (warmest December and winter on record)
2. 1892 ............ 1.3 cm
3. 1931 ............ 2.0 cm
4. 1899 ............ 2.8 cm
5. 1954 ............ 3.3 cm
6. 1939 ............ 3.6 cm (Green Christmas)
7. 1907 ............ 4.6 cm
8. 1896 ............ 4.8 cm
9. 1959 ............ 5.3 cm
10. 1957 .......... 6.1 cm
As can be seen from the table, there have been several Decembers with meager snowfall.. so we still have a ways to go to enter the top 10. It doesn't take much to get a snowfall of 5-10 cm or more in December, so by no means is it a sure thing. But the way things have been going, the potential is there for a top 10 finish.
So what does a lack of snow in December mean the rest of the winter as far as snowfall is concerned? Not much really. Of the top 10 least snowy Decembers, about half had above normal snowfall the rest of the winter, and half had below normal snowfall. So there really isn't a correlation between December snowfall and the rest of the winter. So if you're itching for some of the white stuff, take heed.. we still have a lot of winter left!