Record cold temperatures gone but winter far from over: Environment Canada

 

With recent heavy snowfalls having hit the area, local residents had to get creative even when it came to making sure the mail came through. Luke Adam looks for his mail in a temporary bag put up by wife Josephine after their front steps and sidewalk had drifted over.

With recent heavy snowfalls having hit the area, local residents had to get creative even when it came to making sure the mail came through. Luke Adam looks for his mail in a temporary bag put up by wife Josephine after their front steps and sidewalk had drifted over.

By Ron Giofu

 

The record cold may have moved out of the area and heavy snowfalls may be on hiatus, but Environment Canada is cautioning that winter is far from over.

Geoff Coulson, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said while Amherstburg data was incomplete, information from their site in Windsor showed the area had reached record low temperatures both Jan. 6 and 7.

A record low of -25.2 temperature was recorded Jan. 6, smashing the old record of -18.4 set in 1988, while the Jan. 7 low temperature plunged to -25.1, beating the old record of -20.6 that was set in 1942.

“It truly was bone-chilling cold there earlier (last) week,” said Coulson.

It should come as no surprise that recent snowfalls have led to higher than normal totals for the area. Coulson stated 53 cm of snow was measured at Windsor Airport during December, higher than the average of 30 cm.

“This, in fact, was the snowiest December since 2008,” said Coulson, with 61.2 cm of snow falling that year.

The recent storm that hit the area brought the January snowfall total to 47.8 cm – as of press time – which is more than the 35 cm the region usually gets by this time of year.
“It’s already more than the average snowfall we get for the month of January,” he said.

It still is a way off from the record, he added, noting the most snow for January has been recorded at 86.4 cm in January 1999.

Coulson said extreme southwestern Ontario has been in a “favourable part of the snow track” as lows from Colorado and Texas have been moving just south of Lake Erie making this region a target for heavier than usual snowfalls.

“It does happen from time to time and this winter has been one of those winters,” said Coulson.

The cold blast – termed by many as a “polar vortex” – was the result of a pipeline of Arctic air directly from the North Pole moving its way down into North America.

“Some of the cold air, as it flowed down into the continent, came down to southwestern Ontario,” said Coulson.

Coulson added that southwestern Ontario was colder than eastern Ontario, which is a “180-degree about-face” as eastern Ontario is typically colder than this region.

“It was actually warmer in places like Ottawa, Cornwall and Petawawa,” said Coulson.

While more seasonal temperatures have returned, Coulson pointed out it is still January and there is still much of winter to go. While there is nothing to immediately suggest another severe cold spell will be heading our way, Coulson stated, “we can’t rule out cold snaps” for the remainder of the winter season.

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