Snowfall stands out in year of wild weather

A weather roller-coaster, bookended by significant snowfalls, brought highs and lows weather-wise to Central Alberta in 2013.

A weather roller-coaster, bookended by significant snowfalls, brought highs and lows weather-wise to Central Alberta in 2013.

Bill McMurtry, an Environment Canada meteorologist, said it was a year of swings in terms of weather, with unpredictability being at the forefront.

“We saw significant swings in the weather from colder than usual to warmer than usual to drier than normal to wetter than normal, all in successive months,” said McMurtry. “It was quite a variation.”

But after the up-and-down weather of the year, Red Deer got smacked in the face and all over the ground with a record snowfall in November, as well as a record two-month snowfall in November and December.

Red Deer historian Michael Dawe said this winter has been the worst since 1942. That year, winter started with a massive snowfall on Nov. 15 and didn’t let up.

According to Environment Canada, 1924 produced the record November-December snowfall of 104.9 cm — until Monday. The two-month record was broken on Dec. 30, when Red Deer reached 109.9 cm. The average November-December snow is about 36 cm.

“We’re approaching almost three times the amount of snow we’d typically see for November-December.”

Weather statistics for Red Deer are measured at the airport.

Environment Canada records, which date back to 1904, indicate that this November was the snowiest on record for the area. A total of 62.5 cm of snow was recorded, breaking the 1996 record of 56 cm. The record for December was not broken, however, as only about 47 cm fell in 2013, which is off the 1924 record of 88 cm.

“Snowfall really stood out for the calendar year,” said McMurtry. “Typically, Red Deer receives about 116 cm. So far, it has received 190 cm. It is about 60 per cent more snow in 2013.”

The year started out promising for Central Alberta as warmer than normal temperatures dominated January and February 2013. McMurtry said both months had temperatures three degrees above normal.

“That’s a significant departure when you’re looking at a two-month period to see temperatures that much warmer than average,” said McMurtry. “But then we gave away those temperatures quite quickly because March and April were exactly the opposite, on average three degrees cooler than normal. We saw significantly cooler temperatures than what we would see in March and April.”

This meant the snow stayed longer, as McMurtry said there were about 28 cm of snow in April, which is more than the normal 11 to 12 cm.

“The winter just seemed to drag on into early spring.”

May was warmer than normal, but only marginally, while June and July were par for the course.

Similarly to temperature variance, rainfall had its ups and downs in 2013. McMurtry said while there were some wetter than normal months, May and June, they were followed by dry conditions in August and September. About 296 mm of rain fell in 2013, down from the average of 381 mm.

“Once we got into August and September, they were quite a bit warmer than normal,” said McMurtry. “Temperatures were, on average, about two to three degrees above normal and October was pretty much average.”

But 2013 closed out with a cold November and December, on average three degrees below normal, along with the significant snowfalls.

mcrawford@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

EDMONTON — A criminologist says a recent court order that allows Alberta… Continue reading

Proceeding with Agri-Trade in the current climate would have been financially risky for Westerner Park and likely for many of the event’s exhibitors, says Westerner Park CEO Mike Olesen. (Advocate file photo.)
Westerner Park pleased with city deal, eagerly awaiting news on Westerner Days

The collective sigh of relief may have been simply metaphorical for Westerner… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he kept his distance in… Continue reading

Rental units in Red Deer continued to be some of the most affordable in Canada, according to the National Rent Report from Rental.ca. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Red Deer rent up year over year, still among lowest in Canada

Rent in Red Deer is up nearly six per cent but is… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

People participate in an Eid al-Fitr ceremony in Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Thursday, May 13, 2021. Millions of Muslims across the world are marking a muted and gloomy holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan - a usually joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Ramadan drives donations, memberships to giving circles

Sahina Islam can still recall the day when she heard an elderly… Continue reading

.
Pandemic record for Manitoba: Province reports 560 new COVID-19 cases

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government reported a record 560 new COVID-19 cases… Continue reading

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. A judge is expected to rule this morning on a challenge of the United Conservative government’s inquiry into whether foreign groups have conspired against Alberta’s oil industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Judge dismisses attempt to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ activities inquiry

CALGARY — A judge has dismissed an attempt to quash the United… Continue reading

Unifor National President Jerry Dias is seen at a meeting in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. The head of the country’s largest private-sector union says Parliament should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and possibly put future increases into the hands of an independent commission. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Business, labour groups clash at Senate committee over $15 federal minimum wage

OTTAWA — The head of the country’s largest private-sector union says Parliament… Continue reading

In this file photo dated Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 sit in vials at the Fiocruz Foundation after being bottled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Some health experts are questioning Canada's decision to accept thousands of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week just for them to sit in freezers in an Ontario warehouse because provinces have shunned the idea of using any more of them for first doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Bruna Prado, FILE
Experts call on Canada to use COVAX doses of AstraZeneca or give them back

OTTAWA — Some health experts are questioning Canada’s decision to accept thousands… Continue reading

In this image from video, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. A U.S. lawmaker who has made a political crusade out of getting the border with Canada reopened is once again pressing his case with President Joe Biden. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-House Television via AP
New CDC guidance makes it clear: time to reopen Canada-U.S. border, congressman says

WASHINGTON — A U.S. lawmaker who has made a political crusade out… Continue reading

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Most Read