From the CBC archives: Brown Christmas in Winnipeg, 1997
Remember the last time there was no snow on Christmas? With mild temperatures turning snow into slush across southern Manitoba this week, we look back to a very non-white Christmas in 1997.
In this 24 Hours segment from Dec. 23, 1997, reporter Danielle Keefler found dusty streets and Christmas shoppers still wearing their fall jackets and shoes.
"What a difference El Niño makes. Southern Manitoba will have its first brown Christmas since 1939, the forecast high a balmy –3 C," she said.
By contrast, Manitoba had at least twice the normal snowfall amounts a year earlier.
"If we compare with last Christmas, our high in Winnipeg that day was –28 C," Dale Marciski, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said in the report.
Of course, the El Niño effect is driving temperatures up in southern Manitoba this month. What does it all mean? Watch CBC meteorologist John Sauder explain El Niño here: