It’s been quite a week – a weather bomb early Monday, enough snow to shovel by Wednesday, followed by record warm November temperatures to end the week.
Not everyone had the pleasure of sampling all these extremes but, suffice it to say, across parts of our region the wind gusted over 100 km/h, 10 to 27 cm of snow fell in about 8 hours and the temperature soared to 18 degrees.
Temperature swings and wind gusts are not uncommon in November, nor is snow, but Tuesday's snowfall was a significant, record-setting early snowfall in many communities:
Yarmouth: 13 cm; the previous record was 7.0 cm
Halifax: 10 cm; previous record: 5 cm in 1971
Gander: 27 cm; previous record 16 cm
I’m often asked when the first significant snow will fall; many of you like to keep track of it. If you do, you’ll find this correspondence quite interesting.
“Hi there, Ms. Day. I thought the attached image might be of interest and I had a question. I've kept a record of the first snow in Halifax since 2001 next to my snow shovels, winter tires and salt to help with winter preparation. I was working outside of N.S. in 2011 and 2012 so I missed those years. Any suggestions on where I could go to fill in the blanks for my basement snow record?
I got the idea, by the way, from a historic photo of the wall of a railway locomotive shed where they recorded the ‘first snow’ over many years to help prepare and schedule railway snow ploughs.’
Best regards, Dan Conlin"
Dan, let me start by saying that I love the chart; it's a great idea; I'm going to start one of my own and nail it to the wall in my shed.
As for the missing data, you’ve come to the right place.
In 2011, the first snowfall, as you put it “enough to shovel” was a doozy. Those who lived here at the time, remember it well: 34 cm on Nov. 23rd!
The first snowfall of the following season was fairly light: 5 cm on Jan. 1.
Documenting data is crucial when it comes to establishing patterns within our climate; it’s also a good habit to get into. If you’ve been jotting down local weather data over the years, be it in a journal or on the wall, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at [email protected]
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network