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    Brett Anderson

    Warmest and Driest Meteorological Winter on Record!

    3/19/2010, 5:34:21 AM

    The period from December 2009 through February 2010, which is referred to as meteorological winter, was the warmest on record for Canada. Official records only go back to 1948 in Canada.

    Image courtesy of the NCDC.

    400x266_03162118_decfebtmp


    The December 2009 to February 2010 period averaged 4 degrees (7 F) above normal for the country as a whole.

    Specifically, the tundra, mountains and fjords of the Canadian Arctic along with the northwest forests of Canada led the way with their warmest December-February period on record.

    The map below shows the average 500 mb anomaly pattern (upper-level steering winds) across North America for the winter. The bright red area across central and northern Canada and Greenland indicates above-normal 500 mb heights, which are pockets of relatively warmer air aloft, indicative of the persistent high pressure blocking that we saw through the winter. This blocking forced the relatively cold air well south into the United States while preventing the Arctic air from getting sown into central and southern Canada for the most part.


    400x266_03162116_decfeb500mb


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    Record Dry Period

    In terms of precipitation, it was incredibly dry across the country. It was, indeed, the driest December to February (winter) period for the country as a whole since records have been kept, as stated above going back to 1948. The country on average had 20 percent less precipitation than normal.

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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