Friday, February 21st 2020, 1:57 pm - Some startling snow stats that may change your perspective on winter in southern Ontario this year.
Most southern Ontarians would likely agree that this has felt like a long and gloomy winter, but harsh? -- Not really, especially without any prolonged or consistent cold.
Aside from quick blasts of frigid conditions and dangerous wind chills here and there, there's been a lack of true Arctic-sourced air present for much of the region.
ABOVE AVERAGE SNOWFALL, BUT HOW?
So what if we told you, that this has actually been an ABOVE average year for snow? It may be tough to believe -- as we get set to soar into double-digit territory this weekend -- but it's true.
Take the city of Toronto for example. In a normal year, an average of 108.5 cm is recorded for the entire season. So far this winter, Toronto has already picked up 115.4 cm.
Check back on Wednesday, February 26, for The Weather Network's official 2020 Spring Forecast!
NO TRUE CONSISTENT COLD
The coldest air this winter has been mostly locked into the west, with many days of above seasonal temperatures occurring across southern Ontario. The "very strong" and "organized" Polar Vortex has also played a role.
"The strong Polar Vortex was expected, part of our Winter Forecast and reason for calling for northern Canada to see a colder winter compared to many recent year. However, what we didn’t expect was that the polar vortex would spend so much time on the other side of the North Pole – across Siberia," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "A strong polar vortex on the other side of the North Pole has contributed to periods with a limited supply of arctic air across Canada."
The month of December was above seasonal by around 2°C in Toronto and January actually rounded out as the fourth warmest January on record for the region.
Still, this pattern has proved that you don't need the extreme cold for periods of significant snow.
Making our way along the 401 near Pearson. Slow, but moving. @weathernetwork @JSTAMOS @martaczur #onstorm https://t.co/5qAVBv10oiMark Robinson on Twitter
There's been just enough cold air to work with to create snow with these systems, though it's been tough to keep any of it around because of how quickly it's warmed up soon after.
Another reason, the amount of rain that's fallen this winter.
Just over 25 mm fell in Toronto throughout December, while January turned out to be the second rainiest January on record with a whopping 105.5 mm reported.