Record-breaking snow for Charlottetown amid Maritime storm
Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 11:10 AM - Winter has taken another swipe at the Maritimes, officially breaking the all-time total snowfall record for Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Despite the fact that the winter season ended weeks ago, the 2014-2015 season has been one of the snowiest that parts of the Maritimes have ever seen.
Snow began falling Monday afternoon in some areas, with accumulations being reported in parts of Nova Scotia by the morning.
By Wednesday, most areas saw 2-5 cm of snow fall with a handful of locations in the 5-10 cm range.
Compared to the never-ending storm parade that hammered the region this past winter, it doesn't sound like much, but before this latest system arrived, Charlottetown was only 6 cm away from reaching its total snowfall record.
Additional snowfall on Tuesday pushed the city past its previous record of 539 cm, set during the season of 1971-1972. As of Tuesday afternoon, Charlottetown has recorded more than 540 cm of snow.
"That's first flake to last flake, not just the winter months," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.
And all of those white flakes certainly add up over time.
So what does over 5 metres of snow look like? That's roughly the height of a one and a half storey building, taller than a transport truck.
The record-setting total was calculated over the entire season, but the combination of winter storms and the work of snowplows saw huge accumulations on the ground across the province.
At times, some snow piles in P.E.I. sat higher than a two-storey building.
As the latest bout of wintry weather winds down, the question over where all of that snow will go once it melts continues to fuel flood concerns.
On April 1st, Charlottetown had 89 cm of snow on the ground. As of April 29, the number has diminished to just 7 cm.
Islanders have been dealing with flooded roads and basements in recent weeks due to ongoing chills and thaws, a threat that will continue throughout the spring.
Saint John, New Brunswick also broke it's snowfall record in mid-March, smashing past the previous record of 424 cm in a season, set in 1961-62.
Of three major Maritime cities being tracked by The Weather Network for heavy snowfall amounts based on available data, Moncton, N.B. is the only city unlikely to break their total snowfall record this year. With 496 cm recorded this season, Moncton would have to surpass the current record of 531 cm, set in 1974-1975.
"These new records are indicative of a very active winter season for Atlantic Canada," explains Weather Network meteorologist Brett Soderholm. "Due to a number of storms, specifically the number of storms that consistently dumped large amounts of snow. It seems that there were more systems that targeted P.E.I. with snow, as opposed to other forms of precipitation."
With this week's storm, the heaviest snows fell on P.E.I., southeastern New Brunswick and parts of northern Nova Scotia.
The rain from this system has been much more noticeable, and has sparked rainfall warnings in parts of Newfoundland, not just from this system, but from a second one that will begin to impact the island from the east on Wednesday and into Thursday.
"Rain is expected to come to an end over the Great Northern Peninsula Wednesday afternoon," Environment Canada says. "Further rainfall amounts between 10 to 25 millimetres can be expected in northeastern Newfoundland while an additional 10 mm are forecast over the Great Northern Peninsula." These areas may also see snow mixing in with rain beginning Wednesday evening into Thursday morning.
Up to 15 mm of rain is also expected in eastern New Brunswick by Thursday.
The long range looks to be unsettled as well, with an upper level low remaining locked over the region.
"Temperatures will remain below-seasonal, so mixing is still an unfortunate reality with this set-up," Soderholm says.
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