WINNIPEG — Winnipeg has just experienced the second-warmest January on record with an average daily temperature of -10.4 degrees Celsius.
Winnipeg’s coldest January happened back in 1875 with an average temperature of -27 degrees Celsius.
“It was a warm month. Winnipeg in fact had its second-warmest January on record, that’s with 149 years of data and it was almost six degrees above normal,” said Sara Hoffman, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Winnipeggers are not alone in experiencing warm winter weather. The heat has been felt across the prairies and in the North, with a number of places having record average monthly temperatures.
– Churchill: 3rd warmest January;
– Brandon: 4th warmest January;
– Lynn Lake: 4th warmest January;
– Emerson: 2nd warmest January;
– Portage la Prairie: 3rd warmest January;
– The Pas: 4th warmest January;
– Thompson: 2nd warmest January;
January followed a reasonably warm December, with Winnipeg having the 12th warmest month on record, 4.8 degrees higher than the 30-year average.
For warm weather lovers, the good news stops there.
“December was warm, January was very warm, even taking into account this very cold spell that we’ve had. However I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, or good news if you like the cooler temperatures, but February will not continue with this trend,” said Hoffman.
Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures well below normal temperatures to finish off the week, and to persist throughout the middle of the month.
The winter is now lining up to Environment Canada’s long-range winter forecast, which predicted some above-normal temperatures despite being in the middle of a moderate to strong La Nina year, which usually means a cooler than normal winter with more snow.
“Our long-range models were calling for a warm start to winter, but now we’re starting to see that La Nina pattern, or what we expect to see with La Nina, kick in,” Hoffman said.
“What we expect for winters to come in a changing climate is for these big swings, so periods of above-normal temperatures and very dry, and then periods of very cold and snowy (temperatures).”
That means potentially saying goodbye to those standard cold and snowy winters Manitobans have gotten used to, she said.
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