Manitoba

Latest Winnipeg snowfall on record, but don't be fooled: wicked winter is coming

Depending on your perspective, it’s either a holiday hallmark or the end to a weeks-long winning streak: the first proper snow hit the ground in Winnipeg on Tuesday, the latest measurable snowfall on record in 144 years of record-keeping.
The first significant snowfall of the season hit Winnipeg on Tuesday morning. (Gary Solilak/CBC)

Depending on your perspective, it's either a holiday hallmark or the end to a weeks-long winning streak — the first proper snow hit the ground in Winnipeg on Tuesday, the latest measurable snowfall on record in 144 years of record-keeping.

It wasn't exactly a blizzard, but the 3.6 centimetres of snow that fell on Nov. 22 more than met the 0.2 centimetre requirement to be dubbed measurable.

It's the latest measurable snowfall since records began in 1872, edging out the previous record of Nov. 21, 1963.

If you're remembering years gone by without much snow well into December you're not wrong, but the difference is that in those years, there were minor accumulations beforehand.

The incoming white stuff also marked the end of one of Manitoba's longest snow-free periods on the books.

The last time snow fell this year was 225 days earlier on April 10.

The average snow-free period in Winnipeg is 181 days, so the city got six extra weeks of green this year.

What's to come

CBC meteorologist John Sauder said the province is leaving behind an El Nino period and heading into a weak La Nina.

That means Jack Frost will be nipping at noses around the province, with an average seasonal temperature forecast to be colder than normal and a whole lot colder than last year.

That's not to say the province won't see the odd warm spell or even a mid-winter thaw, Sauder said.

Near-normal snowfall is expected throughout the eastern prairies, with a few snowstorms along the way.

Normal seasonal snowfall for Winnipeg is 110.6 centimetres.