December was a dry month according to a weather forecaster that says this area got the least amount of precipitation during December since 2000.
“The total amount of precipitation during the month was only 46 per cent of normal,” said Ron Lakeman of the Southeast Fire Centre.
“The number of days in which measurable precipitation was recorded was the normal 17 this December,” he explained. “Even so, with a dominant upper ridge of high pressure centred just off the coast and the resulting northwesterly flow across the interior, the amounts of snow associated with relatively frequent weak disturbances were almost all in the minor category.”
Significant rain and snow fell during the first day and night of the month with total precipitation for December at 42.4 mm. Rainfall amounted to 8.2 mm and snowfall was 39.6 cm. Normal for December is 64.6 cm of snowfall and 92.3 mm of precipitation.
A record snowfall for December of 169.5 cm was recorded in 1996.
Along with the drier conditions last month were brisker than normal temperatures with a mean monthly temperature 1.2 degrees colder.
“A modified Arctic air mass also pushed west of the Rockies for a few days of abnormally cold temperatures,” said Lakeman. “A record daily minimum value of -17.7 degrees was recorded during the early morning hours of the 7th and again during the early morning of the 8th day of the month.”
It was the first Arctic outbreak since January/February of 2011.
The warmest temperatures were recorded at 3.7 degrees on December 16 and 18 with a record high coming in 1980 at 11.6 degrees.