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Vancouver's much-maligned wet and balmy conditions during the Winter Olympics have seized the highest podium spot in Environment Canada's Top 10 weather stories of 2010.

Environment Canada's top weather stories for 2010

  • Spring Weather for the Olympic Winter Games
  • Vigorous Igor  
  • From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies
  • Canada's a "Hottie" ... the warmest year in 63 years
  • Storm for the Ages: Flurries, Fury and Floods in December
  • Saskatchewan's Summer of Storms
  • B.C. Forest Fires ... Costly and Smoky 
  • El Nino Cancels Winter
  • October's Freak Canada-U.S. "Weather Bomb"

The Games' February weather woes beat out the impact of hurricanes Igor and Earl on Atlantic Canada for the gold medal, while the dry spring that turned into a drenched summer in the Prairies was ranked third.

In its list released Thursday, Environment Canada noted the Vancouver Olympic Committee promised that its Games would be the "greenest on record," but it never could have foreseen that Vancouver would experience its mildest winter ever.

Heavy rains and high temperatures forced officials at the two-week event to scramble schedules at venues such as Cypress Mountain, which became associated more with soaked spectators sitting out delays than gold-medal performances on its mud-surrounded ski and snowboard courses.

"I think weather owned the podium," Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips said.

The temperature on the opening day of the Games was 10 C, and the average temperature during the event was a spring-like 7.1 C.  

Phillips, who has been putting together the Top 10 list for 15 years, said the list is based on factors that include the impact the events had on Canada and Canadians, the extent of the area affected, the economic effects and longevity as a top news story.

Phillips said this year's list was one of the most difficult he has put together, given that he had 97 weather stories from which to choose.

Dual storms hit Atlantic provinces

The year's hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean was very active with 19 named storms, the meteorological agency said.

Atlantic Canada's storm troubles in 2010 began with the arrival of Hurricane Earl on Sept. 5 in Nova Scotia. The storm killed one person and left thousands in the province without electricity for several days.

It was soon followed by Igor, which brushed by parts of Newfoundland on Sept. 21 as a Category 1 hurricane, cutting off entire communities and leaving a trail of destruction that prompted a military relief effort. 

During the height of the storm, an 80-year-old man was swept away with rock and debris to the sea when a road gave way beneath his feet.

The storm "absolutely did a number on that province," Phillips said, adding that Igor left Newfoundlanders appearing "dazed."

For a province that knows storms, "Igor was the worst," he said.

Environment Canada also noted that 2010 turned up the heat, with the mildest winter, the warmest spring, the third-warmest summer and the second-warmest fall on record. The temperatures made 2010 the warmest year in 63 years, the agency said.