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January By The Numbers

Was January good to you? The first month of 2010 brought some pretty extreme weather events from coast to coast. For most of us, temperatures and a LACK of snow were the big stories.*

From Vancouver to St. John's, our major cities saw some pretty interesting weather trends last month. In the west, January was highlighted by mild temperatures and very little snow.

Vancouver did not even record a trace of snowfall last month, although the airport usually sees close to 16 centimetres of snow in the month of January. What Vancouver missed in snow, they made up for in rainfall. Nearly 175 millimetres of rain fell on the city, roughly 30 millimetres more than normal. But perhaps Vancouverís biggest story last month was the mild air. On January 19th, the airport recorded a temperature of 14.1 degrees. Vancouver saw a total of 13 days in January above ten degrees.

The Prairies also enjoyed some warmer than normal temperatures. The city of Calgary hit daytime highs ABOVE the freezing mark every day between January 8th and 20th, peaking at 11.8 degrees on the 11th. Regina had a couple of days hit four degrees, although -11 is closer to the seasonal average for the month. Alberta and Saskatchewan also saw a lack of precipitation. In fact, Edmonton did not see more than ten centimetres of snow all last month, even though the average snowfall for January is closer to 25 centimetres. Winnipeg, however, saw a pretty typical January. The city saw roughly 23 centimetres of snow, which is also the monthly average.

Ontario and Quebec were also on the mild side last month. On January 25th, the city of Toronto hit nearly seven degrees. That same day, Ottawa and Montreal reached eight degrees, which was about 15 degrees above normal. Montreal actually had nine days in January with daytime highs above the freezing mark.

Toronto also saw more rain than snow last month. The city saw just over 17 millimetres of rain, but less than 11 centimetres of snow. Toronto usually sees closer to 31 centimetres of snow in the month of January. And in Ottawa, the month brought some record-breaking rainfall. The airport recorded 43.6 millimetres of rain on January 25th. That was the rainiest day in the month of January ever on record for the nationís capital.

The Maritime provinces saw some of the most active weather in the country last month. While we did not see any record-breaking snowfall, there were some significant amounts. Halifax saw two separate systems bringing more than ten centimetres of snow (January 2nd and 29th). And in Charlottetown, January 24th and 29th were marked by snow events of more than 20 centimetres. However, last month was not all doom and gloom for the Maritimes. Temperatures were above normal for the most part. Fredericton saw 13 days in January with daytime highs above the freezing mark, while the average for the month is around minus ten.

Finally, in St. Johnís, Newfoundland, January was very average in terms of temperatures and rainfall amounts. There was a lack of snowfall, though. St. Johnís usually sees around 80 centimetres of snowfall in the month of January, but last month the city only saw 50.

*=Temperatures and precipitation amounts are from Environment Canada, but remain unofficial.

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