December 2012 will finish colder and snowier than normal in Winnipeg, capping off what had been a record warm year through the fall. December will finish with an average monthly temperature of -14.7C at YWG airport, or about 1.2C colder than the normal* December average of -13.5C (1981-2010 normal - see note at bottom of post) Two cold spells around the 7th-13th and over the Christmas holidays brought the monthly average below normal, the third straight month with below normal temperatures. December snowfall of 32 cm (as measured at my site) was above the December mean of 19.8 cm, and brought the seasonal snowfall total so far up to 75 cm in the city.. almost matching last winter's entire snowfall total (80 cm) Normal seasonal snowfall in Winnipeg is around 110 cm.
For the year, 2012 will end up with an annual average of +4.6C in Winnipeg, some 1.7C above normal* and the 5th warmest calendar year on record since complete records began in 1873. 2012 was on pace to be the warmest calendar year through October, but a colder than normal finish dropped the year down to 5th place honours.
Top 5 warmest calendar years in Winnipeg (since 1873)
1. 1987 ........... +5.4C
2. 1931 ........... +5.3C
3. 1878 ........... +4.7C
4. 1998 ........... +4.7C
5. 2012 ........... +4.6C
Normal* ........... +2.9C (based on 1981-2010 average)
normal annual temperature over entire period of record is 2.2C (1873-2012)
*NOTE: Rob's Obs will be using 1981-2010 normals from now on. These are the updated 30 year normals that replace the "old" normals which used the 1971-2000 averages. EC is still using the 1971-2000 normals, but plans to move to the updated 1981-2010 values soon. I will have more details on this in a later post.