Nova Scotia on track for a warmer winter after a mild January
Halifax Stanfield International Airport reported its third warmest January on record
Unusually warm temperatures combined with more rain than snow resulted in a rather green end of January in Nova Scotia.
Winter by the numbers
Going over the weather observations for the month of January produced some interesting results. First of all, the mean daily temperature finished a good two to three degrees above the 30-year climate normal.
In fact, Halifax Stanfield International Airport reported its third warmest January with records going back to 1961 and Greenwood its seventh warmest with records going back to 1943.
Snowfall was near or below 30-year climate normals. Reported at around 80 per cent of the norm in Cape Breton, near normal for Greenwood and the Halifax airport and only about 54 per cent of the norm at Yarmouth.
Rainfall was above average but not record-setting for the month of January. Infrequent outbreaks of colder Arctic air and a general westerly track of lows (keeping Nova Scotia on the warmer, eastern side of those systems) contributed to the milder winter weather.
That's not to say we didn't have our run-ins with more active weather this month. The two big systems that come to mind include the snowstorm that hit the weekend of Jan. 7 bringing 30 or more centimetres to much of the province.
Another storm that hit Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 started as freezing rain but finished with a deluge of 50 to 100 millimetres of rain and widespread gusts exceeding 80 km/h.
That same storm brought the severe freezing rain event that crippled a large portion of the power grid in New Brunswick.
What's ahead for Nova Scotia's winter
Seasonal climate models run by Environment Canada point to above normal temperatures continuing for the next three months. Those same model also indicate near to above normal amounts of precipitation.
Give credit where credit is due — they've been pretty good so far in their prediction for general conditions this winter.
Of course, we still have February and March to get through and all it would take would be a few good nor'easters to bring us back into winter wonderland territory.