The month of December was much warmer than normal, registering an average temperature of -1.6 degrees Celsius, almost three degrees Celsius warmer than the normal of -4.5 degrees Celsius. December was the 6th warmest in the last 56 years and all the snow that fell over Christmas disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, and what little ice there was on the Chateauguay River has also broken up and drifted downstream.
There was 16 mm of rain and 53 cm of snow in the last week of the month, which brought the month’s total to 110 mm of rain and melted snow, about 30% more than normal. December was one of six months in 2022 when the monthly precipitation was significantly higher than normal. Snowfall in the area is now often followed by rain, making it increasingly difficult to count on a white Christmas.
Record precipitation for 2022
The past year broke the previous record, set back in 1972, for highest precipitation in the last 56 years, when weather recording started at the Finlayson farm in Ormstown. There was 1238 mm of precipitation, beating the previous record by 1 mm and continuing a trend over the last 50 years that has seen annual precipitation in the area rise from about 950 mm to 1100 mm and higher.
Six of the months in 2022 were wet or very wet – February, March, April, May, September and December. June was the wettest with 193 mm of rain falling, twice the monthly average.
The increase in precipitation has also been accompanied by an increase in average temperatures. The average temperature for 2022 was 7.43 degrees Celsius, which made it the 14th warmest year in the last 56 years. The warmest was 2012 at 8.35 degrees Celsius, and the coolest was 1972 at 5.35 degrees Celsius. The 12 warmest years in that 56 year period have occurred in the last 25 years.
What’s in store for the weather in 2023? Well, all we can wish you is “Happy New Year” because, despite all the scientific advances in weather forecasting, predicting local weather with any certainty, even a few days out, still remains as much an art as it is a science. However, for the record, January 2023 is forecast to be warmer than normal during the first half, with frequent snowfalls in the second half, and that’s as precise as we can get!.