PEI

Here's how quickly the snow melted for a green P.E.I. Christmas

After the coldest fall in 32 years and a snowstorm a week before Christmas, a rapid thaw dashed hopes for a white Christmas for most of P.E.I.

Three members of a CBC panel of weather specialists called for snow on Christmas

A light snowfall Christmas morning was only enough to tint the grass. (Kevin Yarr/CBC)

After the coldest fall in 32 years and a snowstorm just a week before Christmas, a rapid thaw surprised Islanders and dashed hopes for a white Christmas for most of P.E.I.

Not only were Islanders taken by surprise by the lack of snow but some CBC weather specialists as well. 

Three of five members of a CBC panel of weather specialists had originally called for a white Christmas in spite of the coming thaw.

The station at Charlottetown Airport measured just a trace of snow on the ground, short of the two centimetres required for an official white Christmas. 

Before the snow fully disappeared on Dec. 23, there had been snow on the ground at the airport for 40 straight days. On Dec. 17-18 a snowstorm brought 22.6 centimetres of snow. On the morning of Dec. 18 about 19 centimetres was measured on the ground.

But the snowy fall was no match for the coming of winter. The first full day of winter on Dec. 22 saw double digit temperatures across the Island and 14.8 mm of rain.

Cold weather returned Christmas Eve but it was too late for a white Christmas.

Environment Canada's Dave Phillips said the mild start to the winter could be an indicator for the whole season. He is forecasting a milder than usual winter following the cold fall.

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