Weather Facts and Trivia

It's -12C, but with the windchill it feels more like -30C. Yes, it's cold out but it could be a lot worse. Bundle up and make friends with your longjohns 'cause here are some Canadian facts and other weather trivia to put the cold in perspective.

Canadian Facts and Trivia

  • The lowest temperature recorded in Canada was -63C at Snag, Yukon Territory, on February 3, 1947.

  • On November 10, 1986, Winnipeg dug out from beneath 35.8 cm of snow left by a 32-hour storm. Clean-up costs were $2.5 million, a quarter of the city's annual snow-removal budget.

  • Between December 31, 1993 and January 19, 1994, Yellowknife endured a record 20 consecutive days when the minimum temperature was less than or equal to -37C.

  • On December 15th, 1964, the Great Blizzard struck parts of the Prairie provinces with heavy snow, sustained winds of 50 to 90 km/h, and - 34C temperatures. Over 1,000 livestock were lost and three people froze to death.

  • On December 29th, 1794, Peter Fidler, a Hudson's Bay Company employee and one of the first weather observers in Canada, recorded that Holland gin froze solid at -27C, English brandy at -32C and rum at -35C.

  • 1999 was the third warmest year in Canada. That's according to Environment Canada's Meteorological Service of Canada. Last year, Canadian temperatures were above normal by at least 1.5 C for almost all of the country.

  • Based on a 52-year-period of record, the warmest year was 1998 at 2.5 C above normal, and the second warmest was 1981 at 2 C above normal.

  • The century long record for southern Canada shows 1996 as the wettest year.

  • 1910 was the driest year.

  • The wettest decade for southern Canada was the 1970s and the driest was the 1910s.

Other Facts and Trivia

Did you know?

  • The world's first television weather chart was broadcast in Britain on November 11, 1936.

  • The practice of naming hurricanes began early last century when an Australian weather forecaster decided to insult politicians he didn't like by naming devastating tropical storms after them.

  • The technique for measuring wind chill was developed by scientists in Antarctica during the Second World War. They measured how long it took to freeze vials of water exposed to different wind conditions in temperatures below 0C. Then they developed formulas for relating heat loss to wind speed and air temperature.


Environment Canada's regional websites

Meteorological Service of Canada

Canadian Meteorological Centre, Climate & Water Information

Weather Office

Environment Canada: Current conditions and local forecasts