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335 cm and counting. Has Newfoundland stolen Canada's winter snow?

Friday, February 21st 2020, 9:41 am - Most of the country seems to be struggling to hang onto any winter snow, while Newfoundland can't seem to get rid of it.

After a miserable mix of heavy snow and wind forced more school closures across parts of Newfoundland on Wednesday, it's no wonder why people are starting to question if the province has done something to insult Mother Nature this year.

Especially in a season that has delivered back-to-back snow storms, including the historic blizzard that brought major cities like St. John's to a complete standstill.

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While other provinces like British Columbia and Quebec have had their fair share of impactful weather at times too, Newfoundland has seemingly stolen all of the consistent winter snow from the rest of the country.

"Newfoundland has certainly been the target zone, as an active storm track has brought system after system just south of Atlantic Canada," says meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal. "This position of the track has allowed for cold air to produce more snow on the northwest side of the storms."

Most of the systems that have barreled through the region have also brought straight snow, as opposed to a messy rain/snow mix that is usually more typical for areas along the coast.

"While it is normal for storms to intensify over oceans, we've seen most of our storms stay relatively weak over Ontario and Quebec and then strengthen over the Atlantic as they moved east this season," Whittal says.

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Both December and January snowfall totals finished above average for many parts of Newfoundland, but so far, February is rounding out near normal or slightly below.

In January alone, nearly 173 cm was recorded at St. John's Airport, up from the average 89 cm that typically falls throughout the month. Those totals include the hefty dose from the record-setting blizzard however, one that smashed some all-time daily snowfall records.

So far this month, the city is sitting at 69.1 cm for February, with 71 cm being the monthly average. In total, St. John's has already picked up more than 335 cm of snow this winter, but with the yearly normal being closer to 248 cm.

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"It might also shock you to learn that parts of Newfoundland have actually been above seasonal in terms of the temperature story this winter," Whittal adds.


As high pressure dominates eastern North America into the weekend, a southwest flow will help to drive temperatures above seasonal for many.

"Milder Pacific air will spread into Newfoundland on Sunday with an extended period of fair weather to persist through early next week," says meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "A more active pattern is likely to return again by mid or late next week."

Still, when you get a break in the persistent storms with dominating high pressure and abundant sunshine, it's a forecast that deserves a 'Hallelujah' of sorts, so be sure to enjoy it.


Thumbnail courtesy: Mark Gray

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