Ottawa on track for snowiest winter in nearly a decade
Ottawa may be in the midst of the snowiest winter since 2007-08, when 432.7 cm fell
This winter has prompted debates about city snow-clearing and when school buses should be cancelled, but it's not quite one for the record books yet.
On Feb. 16 of last year, 51.2 centimetres of fresh snow fell in a single day, breaking the previous record from 1947.
School buses were cancelled. There were major delays on OC Transpo and STO as some federal departments let workers go home early.
Ottawa police reported 120 collisions from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
But, that doesn't mean this has been an easy winter.
Snowiest in nearly a decade — maybe
Environment Canada says Ottawa is on track for what might be the snowiest winter in nearly a decade, though still well short of the record for most snowfall in a single season.
Up until Feb. 15, Environment Canada recorded 242.9 centimetres of snow at the Ottawa International Airport weather station.
The normal snowfall total for the season is 223.5 cm, according to Geoff Coulson, a weather preparedness meteorologist at Environment Canada.
Seasonal snowfall is measured from the first to last snowflake of the season, or roughly from October to April.
The snowiest winter on record at the Ottawa airport weather station is 1970-71, when 444.6 cm fell.
The last time the city almost broke the record was 2007-08, when 432.7 cm fell.
The next snowiest winter after that was 2012-13, when there were 250 cm.
As the city approached the record in March of 2008, there were reports of 10-foot-tall snowbanks and serious delays for transit and air travellers.
Environment Canada forecasted between 10 and 15 cm of snow this week.
Coulson said the long-term average snowfall for March is 38.3 cm and for April it's 11.3 cm. He said it wouldn't take much more for the city to pass the 250 cm mark this season.
"If Ottawa does end up with more than 250 cm for this winter," Coulson said in an email. "It would make it the snowiest since 2007-08."
The 1970-71 record continues to stand.