Looking like a white Christmas

Darrell Cole, The Amherst News
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PICTOU COUNTY – A white Christmas is pretty much a given for northern Nova Scotia.

Snow has started to accumulate at Melmerby Beach. We're expected to receive more this week and over the weekend. 

While snowy Christmases are getting fewer and further between, Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips says there’s little doubt there will be more than two cm of snow on the ground next Wednesday morning.

“The snow you’re cursing now is the snow you’ll be blessing Christmas morning,” Phillips said. “It’s really been touch and go in your area the last few years, but this snow will pretty much make us weatherproof for Christmas.”

Along with 22 cm received at the automatic weather station in Nappan from Sunday’s storm, the latest dumping is expected to leave another 20 to 25 on the ground Wednesday. There’s the potential of another snow event on Sunday that will only add to those totals.

“It’s going to turn cooler as well. We don’t really see any melting temperatures until Saturday, when it’s supposed to get up to two degrees, but that will only be for a short period of time and won’t get up to the double digit warmth that would be needed for significant snow melt,” Phillips said.

Phillips said a white Christmas this year will buck a growing trend of green or brown Christmases. The frequency of snow on Dec. 25 is actually shrinking. From the 1960s to the 1980s, there was more than an 80 per cent chance of having a white Christmas. More recently, that number has shrunk to 70 per cent, while measureable snow on the ground on Dec. 25 has been reduced to, on average, nine centimetres, versus 23 three decades ago.

“The amount of snow has gone down in an area that is traditionally a snowy place,” Phillips said. “The other thing that’s changed is the depth of snow. What we’re seeing now is nine to 10 centimetres when it used to be in the 20s.”

Looking beyond next week to the rest of December and into January, Phillips said northern Nova Scotia is in the middle of what will be colder than normal weather in northern New Brunswick and wetter and warmer than normal weather along the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia.

“Your area seems to be in the near normal range. It could swing either way,” Phillips said. “The best indication is it will be a normal January.”

 

Organizations: Environment Canada

Geographic location: Nappan, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

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