Unlikely Canadian city crushing above average snowfall in January

Caroline FloydMeteorologist

This Canadian city leads the way for January snow stats (hint: It's not St John's)

2020 has gotten off to a notably snowy start across much of Canada, with some historic snowfalls already in the record books. St. John's, Newfoundland, is still shovelling out after being crushed by 76.2 cm of snow in just one day amid the blizzard that struck the province on January 17. That's a new all-time one-day snowfall record for the city.

So it might come as a surprise to hear that it's another Canadian city that's leading the way when it comes to most unusual snowfall stats for January.


With 166 cm recorded for the month so far (between January 1 and 19), St. John's sits at 187 per cent of its average January snowfall total.

You have to look all the way across the country to find the current front runner, though, and -- spoiler alert -- St. John's is going to need to see a lot more snow to catch up.

It's Vancouver that's seen the most above-average snowfall so far in January, with staggering 312 per cent of the usual amount they see for the entire month.

The cities do have one thing in common. They both saw the bulk of their January snowfall on one day, as Vancouver racked up 15 cm on the 15th, and St. John's, of course, got nearly half their total on the 17th.

Content continues below

Of course, when you look at the raw numbers, it puts things in perspective. Vancouver's impressive stat comes from the 34.6 cm of snow they've seen so far this month. The usual total for all of January at Vancouver International Airport is 11.1 cm; that's (maybe not surprisingly) the lowest of any major city in Canada. In St. John's, we're comparing the 166 cm on the ground with a much heftier average of 88.7 cm.

So when it comes to "How much do we actually have to shovel?", St. John's is still the heavyweight champ. But if the question is "How much more did we have to shovel than usual?" this month Vancouver has no competition.

Thumbnail image courtesy Ivy Fabro, Vancouver/Steve Halley St. John's