On March 20, spring officially started in the Northern Hemisphere.
The expectation is that warm weather will reach Canada earlier this year. At least that was the prediction of the marmot, the small mammal that according to popular folklore predicts whether winter will be short or long each season. But uncertainties aside, what we do know is that this winter had milder temperatures, a below average amount of snow and a lot of rain in various parts of the country.
The months of December and January looked like late fall or early spring in most of Canada. Temperatures were 10 to 20 degrees above normal for this time of year. In Toronto (ON), historical temperature records were recorded in the last week of 2019, when the thermometers reached 10.2 ° C on December 30, a mark not registered for 54 years in the city. The amount of snow was also well below expectations, where there was only 10 centimeters of accumulation in December, well below the average of 30 centimeters for the month in the city. According to Environment Canada, the high temperatures in December and the lack of snow were motivated by the presence of a draft in northern Ontario, which kept the arctic air at bay.
For Aliadne Barreto, a Toronto resident for 12 years, this winter was totally atypical. “I don’t remember having such a peaceful winter in Canada all these years. We had little snow and very mild temperatures for the season”, she says, who always expects to suffer in advance as the season approaches. “In November 2019 we had days with -20 ° C and I was very scared but thank God the winter was not harsh and today I say that if all winters were the same, I would never complain”, she smiles.
The winter was also hotter than usual in the province of Saskatchewan, located in the Midwest of Canada and known for registering extremely freezing temperatures at this time of year. Saskatoon, the largest city in the province, tends to have extreme cold alerts every year in February. In 2019, the cold remained below -20 ° C throughout February, reaching -53 ° C. “This year was very different. We even had days with a positive 5 degrees, no one believed that”, said systems analyst Fernanda Caroline, a city resident.
In Vancouver (BC) the winter also registered much milder temperatures, which on the one hand pleased the population, but on the other hand brought some frustration, since without a severe winter the constant rains in the city throughout the other seasons continued in the Winter. According to the business administrator Priscila Nogueira, 30, this caused a certain discouragement in the population. “It rained a lot all winter and going so long without seeing the sun was not easy. In January, for example, from the 31 days of the month it rained on 25,” she said.
According to data from Environment Canada, this was the fifth rainiest month in January in Vancouver’s history, with 256.6 mm of precipitation. The average precipitation in the city this month is 168.4 mm. January also closed with other historic records for Vancouver. January 31 was the rainiest day ever recorded in the city. According to weather data, 34.8 millimeters of rain fell in Vancouver that day, breaking the previous daily record of 27.2 millimeters set in 1907.
With the end of winter approaching and spring giving the air of grace, it remains to wait and hope that the heat comes earlier this year. Short, gray days are definitely lagging behind.