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Coldest December in Thompson since records began being kept in 1967, Environment Canada says

Cheer up: Some Januarys have been even colder
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Outside on Thompson Drive South just after 2 p.m. Dec. 30 at -30 °C with a wind chill of -41 °C. Thompson has just had the coldest December since records began in 1967," says Dale Marciski, a meteorologist with the Meteorological Service of Canada in Winnipeg for Environment Canada. "Months are ranked based on the mean monthly temperature which is the average of all the maximum and minimum temperatures for the entire month. Mean monthly temperature for December 2013 at the Thompson Airport [was] -29.4 °C. The previous coldest monthly mean temperature for December was -27.5 °C set in 1989 and again in 2008."

On the second day of 2014, the weatherman confirmed what almost all of us suspected in our bones anyway: "It appears that Thompson has just had the coldest December since records began in 1967," says Dale Marciski, a meteorologist with the Meteorological Service of Canada in Winnipeg for Environment Canada. "Months are ranked based on the mean monthly temperature which is the average of all the maximum and minimum temperatures for the entire month.

"Mean monthly temperature for December 2013 at the Thompson Airport [was] -29.4 C. The previous coldest monthly mean temperature for December was -27.5 C set in 1989 and again in 2008.

"The normal mean monthly temperature for December is -20.9 C so this past December was 8.5 C colder than normal which is quite a significant departure from normal."

Cheer up though. Things could be worse and might yet be this month. "This [December] was still not the coldest month ever in Thompson, however. There have been several Januarys that were colder. The coldest was in January 1982 when the mean monthly temperature was -33 C."

Call it the double whammy. December's bitter cold followed November being one of the snowiest months on record in Thompson, which the Meteorological Service of Canada at Environment Canada in Winnipeg assures us, is usually the snowiest month of the year anyway. This year we had 88 centimetres of snow in November, divided pretty evenly into 40.4 centimetres during the first half of November and 47.6 centimetres for the latter half of the month. The normal snowfall for November at 35.4 centimetres, even as the snowiest month of the year, is less than half of last year's total.

"The 1981-2010 Canadian Climate Normals for Thompson Airport indicate that November is actually the snowiest month of the year, on average," says Marciski. "The air masses are milder and can hold more moisture at this time of year."

The normal monthly snow for Thompson Airport, Marciski says, is:

January: 22.7 centimetres;

February: 18.9 centimetres;

March: 23.4 centimetres;

April: 23 centimetres;

May: 11.2 centimetres;

June: 1.1 centimetres;

July: zero centimetres;

August: zero centimetres;

September: 3 centimetres;

October: 21.4 centimetres;

November: 35.4 centimetres;

December: 27 centimetres.