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A white Christmas in Atlantic Canada?


Shelley Steeves, reporter
December 15, 2011 — What's the probability of it being a white Christmas in the Maritimes this year? Turns out, not as good as it used to be.


Probability of a white Christmas
Probability of a white Christmas

It's a song being sung in the minds of Canadians right across the country: “I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.”

Particularly here in the Maritimes.

“It would be nice to have some snow on the ground at Christmas time,” said one woman in Moncton.

“You don't think it's gone happen this year?” I asked another.

“No I don't think so.”

Well she might be right for this year and the years to come. According to Environment Canada, our chances of having a white Christmas may be becoming a dream.

“The chances of a white Christmas are really getting slimmer across the country,” says David Phillips of Environment Canada.

Just take a look at the numbers here in Atlantic Canada. In Charlottetown the chance of a white Christmas over 30 years ago was 95 percent. Today? Only 63. In Fredericton and Moncton the chances have dropped more than 20 per cent.

It's a trend we're seeing right across the country.

Will it be a white Christmas in the Maritimes this year?
Will it be a white Christmas in the Maritimes this year?

“Why do you think that is?” I asked a man in Moncton.

His response? “Global warming.” And he's likely right too.

“I mean if you stick a thermometer in winter now it's compared to say the last 60 years it's about 3 degrees warmer,” explains Phillips. “We see these trends continue to go down as our winters get warmer so that trend toward having a white Christmas will become more of a rarity.”

What!? Lose our white Christmases all together! Doesn't that go against everything we are as Canadians?

“It'd be pretty sad a sad for us and I lot of people I think,” said a woman on the streets of Moncton.

“How would you feel is we actually lost our white Christmases?” I asked another resident.

“I definitely would not care,” he replied.

Well regardless of how you feel about snow, there's one thing climate change can't change: “Santa Clause is coming to town!”

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