Nova Scotia·Weather

2020 one of the warmest years on record in the Maritimes

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon says the Maritimes has just recorded one of its warmest years, again.

Mild winter followed by hot, dry summer and warm fall

The Maritimes enjoyed another warm year in 2020. (Bert Savard/CBC)

It's become a very familiar headline over the past couple of decades. We've just had another one of our warmest years on record. 

Looking at the list of warmest years both here in the Maritimes and around the world, it's filled mostly with years since 1999 — a sure sign of our changing climate. 

An analysis will need to be completed by Environment Canada's Climate Atlantic Centre, however, it appears likely that 2020 will rank in the top-10 for warmest years, at least for most of the Maritimes.

The World Meteorological Organization confirmed Thursday that 2020 was also one of the three warmest years on record for the planet.

(Ryan Snoddon/Environment Canada's AHCCD data)
(Ryan Snoddon/Environment Canada's AHCCD data)

2020 joining the ranks of the warmest years should come as little surprise.

Last winter was mild. We experienced a hot and dry summer, followed by a warm fall.

In Halifax, December was the warmest on record, and the year as a whole will rank near fifth all time. The 11 warmest years in Halifax have all occurred over the past 23. 

(Ryan Snoddon/Environment Canada's AHCCD data)

Once again, the 2020 temperature needs to be verified by Climate Atlantic, but there's a chance the Halifax mean temperature was even warmer than the preliminary figure of 7.7 C. The record is 8.6 C in 1999.

Where is winter?

2021 has started where 2020 left off. It's been warmer than average. Mild temperatures and the lack of snow have dominated the weather headlines through the first half of January.

We'll see a push of polar cold air next week, however it appears the end of the month will also trend near or warmer than average. Temperatures for February, March and April are also expected to be warmer than normal.

(Environment Canada)

While we'll no doubt see some rounds of cold and snow in the coming weeks, sticking with our recent climate trend, a 'good old fashioned' finish to the winter season doesn't appear likely.

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About the Author

Ryan Snoddon


Ryan Snoddon is CBC's meteorologist in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


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