Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Coolest Winter Since 2001 for US, Globe According To NOAA Data

With tomorrow being the first day of spring, it's a good time to reflect on the type of winter we've had. According to scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. the average temperature across both the contiguous U.S. and the globe during climatological winter (December 2007-February 2008) was the coolest since 2001. In terms of winter precipitation, Pacific storms, bringing heavy precipitation to large parts of the West, produced high snowpack that will provide welcome runoff this spring.  The storm track took storms through the US midwest into the Great Lakes area, bringing near record amounts of snow to southern Ontario and southern Quebec.

Complete article at:

For the record, the winter here in Winnipeg averaged about 1.5C below normal (-16.8C vs -15.3C) making it the coldest winter here since the winter of 2000-2001 which averaged -17.6C. The bulk of the cold weather this year was in February which averaged almost 5 degrees below normal (-18.2C vs -13.6C). December was just slightly below average (-15.0C vs -14.4C), while January was slightly above (-17.0C vs -17.8C).  Melted precipitation over the Dec-Feb period was below average at the airport (40 mm vs 53 mm) with a very dry January. After above normal snowfall in December, there has been a notable lack of precipitation events in January, February and now well into March. This bodes well for a lack of spring flooding, but it will become an increasing concern for agriculture and forestry if the dry pattern persists through spring. 


  1. Hi Rob,

    Have you seen this potential "Montana" Low in the forecast? A number of us "amateur" weather watchers have been tracking it, but are unsure of what will actually happen. This is due mostly to the inconsistency in the GFS forecast.

    Have you seen this in the forecast? Any thoughts of what might happen?

  2. Model consensus takes the low across TransCanada tomorrow with narrow swath of heavier snow to the north in area of better lift.. as in the southern Interlake region. Models suggest Winnipeg will stay on the southern edge of heavier snow.. which make sense if the current low track is correct. Current forecast says 5 cm for Winnipeg which seems reasonable at this point... maybe even on the high side if those +2C temperatures work out.

  3. Sorry I should have been more clear. I meant the "potential" low pressure system for Thursday/Friday.

    It may not even be in the forecast, but since it has appeared sporadically I thought I would ask.

  4. Still a ways off to offer any more insight over models.. they seem to suggest main low will track through Dakotas with a possible inverted trof giving us some accumulating snowfall here. But still too early to say one way or another how it will affect us.. will have to wait and see how this one evolves.

  5. Quite the warm front across southern MB today! (Mar 24) Gusty southerly winds maintaining cold air in the Red River valley this afternoon (Winnopeg struggling at -3c), while west of the warm front, sunny skies and snowfree ground has allowed temperatures to soar to +10C over the Melita area!

    In addition we're getting some poor visibilities in snow and blowing snow ahead of the warm front thanks to those strong southerly winds.

  6. Picked up about 3 cm in that burst between noon and 2 pm.. visibility on Wilkes was down to 300 metres at times.

  7. Unbelievable...once again Winnipeg is locked into an arctic flow while ares just to our south, west and east stay much warmer. We cannot even melt off the snow that fell yesterday. And thats not the worse part, models bring down an arctic high right over top Winnipeg for Thursday morning. Another brutally cold nite ... just what we needed to thicken up the ice some more. Wow.

    Anyways, despite the duration of this winter, the Dec-Feb mean temp was not the coldest in 15 years as forecast by Environment Canada. At least 3 winters were colder during that period, 95/96, 96/97, and of course 00/01. We deserve a medal for living here.