Another green Christmas for Montreal

The winter of 1970-1971 was historic in Montreal, with over 50cm of snow on the ground already by Christmas Day 1970.

Whether you like it or not, there will be little in the way of snow on the ground for Christmas morning in Montreal. With the temperature hovering around 7C (45F) Monday afternoon, most of the snow is now gone, with the exception of a few dirty patches here and there. We did not have much to begin with, as only 13.4 cm has fallen this month at Trudeau Airport, the normal should be close to 50cm. We had more snow on the ground across most of Canada in November than we do now. Many major cities across southern Canada will have no snow this holiday season.

As I write this, I am looking out my office window at basically a brown landscape. This seems to becoming more normal with each passing year, far from the winters of my youth in the 1970s.

Taking a brief look back at the stats over the last decade indicates a sad reality for those who prefer a white Christmas. The average amount of snow on the ground on December 25th since 2010 has been a paltry 6.0cm in Montreal. On four occasions, 2014, 2015, 2018 and again this year, we have had no snow. According to Environment Canada, a white Christmas is defined as 2cm or more on the ground as of 7am, December 25th.

The most snow on the ground in Montreal on Christmas Day was 51cm during the historic winter of 1970-1971 when a total of 380cm fell for the season. In December 1970, as much as 64cm of snow was on the ground. Speaking of the 70's, we had a white Christmas each year from 1970 through 1978. In 1979, the streak came to an end, with 21.3mm of rain falling on the 25th.

As far as 2019 is concerned, mild weather Monday will be replaced by much cooler air for Tuesday through Thursday. Skies will be partly cloudy, with temperatures ranging from -9C to -12C for lows and -1C to -5C for daytime highs. Travel conditions will be ideal through Thursday. The next change for precipitation arrives overnight into Friday morning along a warm front. A mix of rain, freezing rain and snow is possible, but amounts should be fairly light.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

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