Record-setting December across most of Nova Scotia

It was a record-setting December 2015 for temperatures in Nova Scotia.

Snowfall is up significantly over the 2014 total, despite the warmer December

Gary Gould didn't waste his very warm Dec. 25, so he jumped on his skis and went water-skiing on a very mild Christmas Day on Lake Molega in Queens County, N.S. (Submitted by Sherry Anne Bugbee)

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.

About the Author

Kalin Mitchell


Kalin Mitchell is the meteorologist on CBC News Nova Scotia, CBC News New Brunswick and CBC News Atlantic Tonight. He can also be heard on various afternoon CBC Radio shows giving up-to-the-minute weather forecasts.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.