Even though the month ended on a colder and snowier note, it turns out that December was a very mild month, setting records in at least two cities.
After crunching the numbers for a few weather stations in the province, it turns out that some records were set.
Let's start with a comparison of the mean December temperature this year to 2014 and the 30-year climate normal.
|Bathurst||–6.1 C||–2.1 C||–6 C|
|Fredericton||–2.7 C||–0.8 C||–5.7 C|
|Moncton||–2.1 C||–0.4 C||–4.8 C|
|Saint John||–1.2 C||0.7 C||–4.4 C|
Temperatures for this past December were up not only from 2014 but also compared to the normal temperature. There are some real standouts here when comparing to historical records as well.
Both Saint John and Fredericton set new records for a December with the previous records being 0.6 C in 1953 and –1.2 C in 1996 respectively.
Both Moncton and Bathurst finished with the second warmest December on record. These records are significant, considering most of these sites keep records going back to the 1880s.
While it was a warmer month, it was also a good time to build snowpeople around the province.
Now a look at reported snowfall for the month, which gives an interesting result.
|Bathurst||12.4 cm||99.2 cm||67.2 cm|
|Moncton||10.9 cm||96.4 cm||62.4 cm|
|Saint John||8.2 cm||58 cm||49.9 cm|
In a record-setting December for warmth, New Brunswick exceeded the climate normal for snowfall. That is not the result that many people would typically expect
This just goes to show how timing and track of individual weather systems are so important in our region.
Even with temperatures averaging above normal, it only takes a few good snowfalls to pile up some of the white stuff.
The region is still in a strong El Nino (forecast to last the winter), which has a slight correlation to a milder and less snowy winter season.
The mild part is certainly on track, then again, the winter weather didn't get really nasty until half way through January last year.