Environment Canada retracts original snowfall report of 51 centimetres

Mitch MacDonald comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 6, 2016

Weather agency says province “realistically” received closer to 39 cm rather than originally reported 51

If 51 centimetres of accumulation seemed like a high number for Friday’s winter storm on P.E.I., that’s because it was.

Environment Canada has corrected the initially reported 51 centimetres that fell across the Island and says snowfall was actually closer to 39 centimetres.

The weather agency’s only manned station on P.E.I. at the Charlottetown Airport originally reported receiving 51 centimetres of snow.

But in our opinion this morning, it looks like there was a mistake when that number was reported… 39 centimetres seems more realistic, especially when you compare it with other numbers we got across the Island,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Jean-Marc Couturier.

Five other official Environment Canada sites report accumulation through automated systems, while several trained volunteer officers across the province also provide numbers.

Every area outside of Charlottetown reported significantly smaller amounts, such as 24 centimetres in Summerside, 25 in St. Peters and only 14 in Borden.

The highest recorded amount, apart from the airport, was 31 centimetres in Stanhope.

The storm got off to a slow start on Friday and even stopped snowing for a while in the afternoon.

However, it picked up again in the evening, with high winds across the province causing poor driving conditions with blowing snow and drifts.

Many Islanders woke up Saturday to drifts burying their cars and blocking driveways.

The snow caused some flight delays early in the morning, while plows were out across the province clearing snow from the highways.

Angus Orford, vice president of customer service for Maritime Electric, said there were no power outages reported. He spoke to a Guardian photographer as he was clearing snow in front of his garage.

Environment Canada is forecasting Sunday to be cloudy with a chance of flurries and winds gusting to 50 km/h. 

A special weather statement has also been released for Monday, which could see more snowfall in the province as a low pressure system moved across southern Nova Scotia.


A summary of weather and wind reports from Friday’s storm is listed below.


Snowfall summary from Environment Canada sites

Summerside: 24 cm

Harrington: 26 cm

Charlottetown Airport: 39 cm

Stanhope: 31 cm

St. Peters: 26 cm


Snowfall summary collected by volunteer weather officers

Wellington: 24 cm

Slemon Park: 24 cm

Bonshaw: 30 cm

Borden: 14 cm

New London: 21 cm


Wind summary

East Point: 78 km/h

Charlottetown Airport: 70 km/h

North Cape: 69 km/h

St. Peters: 59 km/h

Harrington: 63 km/h