Cold weather and chilly winds continue here this week thanks to an arctic outflow, but the sun was forecast to shine brightly right up until this Friday.
This past December has seen what is the longest cold stretch in the last four years, starting Dec. 7 and ending ten days later on Dec. 17. Temperatures that week averaged -13 plus wind chill, and dropped to colder than -15 for a few days.
After that it warmed up briefly, spiking down to -10 on Christmas Day and then climbing again for the next week.
Another cold spell hit on Jan. 1 and temperatures have lingered since then around the -10 range. As of late last week, the forecast didn’t indicate warmer temperatures this week.
Last winter looked quite different, with warmer temperatures throughout most of the early winter, with only one cold spell lasting two weeks from Christmas Eve onward.
On average so far, it has been the coldest winter compared to the last number of years, with temperatures averaging -6.3 degrees from Dec. 1 to Jan. 7.
That’s a full two degrees colder than the -4.3 degree average in the same time frame last year.
The two winters prior to that were even warmer, with temperatures surrounding an average of -2.1 in 2014-15 and -1.4 the year before in 2013-14.
Snowfall this winter has also been significantly higher than the last four years, with a layer more than double the depth of last year.
Snow started piling up late on Christmas Day, and half-a-foot covered the ground on Dec. 26, which grew to 1.2 feet by the end of the next day.
Last winter had half a foot altogether in the three weeks following Christmas.
Yet despite having double the snow of last year, this winter’s snow is still dramatically less than the massive three-foot dump (90 cm) over one day in February 2015.