January is turning into a snowy month, with more forecast to be on the way. A second big snowstorm rolled into the area last Friday and left enough snow on the fields to bring out the snowmobilers in earnest.
The storm brought an additional 22 centimetres of snow, which melted down to 24 millimetres of water. For the first three weeks of the month, we now have 45 mm of rain and 45 mm of melted snow, for a total of 90 mm of precipitation. This is already 10 per cent above normal for the entire month with another week and half to go, so January will be a wet month.
It will also be warm. Despite the fact the average temperature is slowly dropping as the month progresses, it’s still not enough to get even close to the January normal of -8.6 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in the last week was -3.5 C, down almost a degree from the week before at -2.7 C. The warmest January in the last 57 years was 1990 with an average temperature of -3.0 C.
The forecast temperatures for the rest of the month, especially the last few days and into the first week of February, will be colder than normal. But there will only be a few nights when the nighttime low approaches -20 C, even for the whole month of February, so the milder weather is welcome, given the cost of heating homes these days.
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 C, which made it the fourteenth warmest year in the last 56 years. The warmest was 2012 at 8.35 C, and the coolest was 1972 at 5.35 C. The 12 warmest years in that 56-year period have occurred in the last 25 years.