Record-setting December across most of Nova Scotia
Snowfall is up significantly over the 2014 total, despite the warmer December
It was a record-setting December 2015 for temperatures in Nova Scotia.
Interesting to note that despite the warmer temperatures, snowfall amounts this year were much closer to normal than 2014.
Here's a rundown of the numbers from three weather stations, southwest to northeast, across the province.
Let's start with a comparison of the monthly average temperature:
Yarmouth was up near two degrees from last year and nearly four degrees over the climate normal, which is a significant deviation over a month.
Halifax and Sydney were both up compared to last year and, of course, over normal.
Now for something really impressive: At 4.1 C, this year that is the warmest December on record for Yarmouth with records going back to 1870! The old record was 3.4 C, set in 1953.
At Halifax Stanfield International Airport, 1.5 C is a new record with the previous being 1 C set in 1953.
Sydney tied for their thirteenth warmest December with the standing record of 2.6 C set back in December 2010.
Now a look at reported snowfall, which gives an interesting result:
Despite a warmer December this year, we are up significantly over the 2014 snowfall totals with Halifax, even clearing the 30-year climate normal by nearly 12 centimetres.
It just goes to show that even if a winter month finishes with above normal temperatures, if a few big systems are timed to arrive when some cold is around, the snow can still add up.
We are still in a strong El Niño (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, our winter weather didn't get really nasty until half way through January last year.