Regina's 196 cm (over 6 feet) of snow a new record, weather guru says
over 6 feet
People across Saskatchewan continue to groan under the weight of yet another snowfall, leading some to wonder if the winter weather will ever come to an end.
Experts on the weather agree that the 2012-2013 season has been one for the record books — with parts of Regina, for example, receiving a record 196 centimetres of snow between autumn 2012 and now.
"It began early, it stayed late and clearly has been the dominant kind of weather ... cold and snow," Dave Phillips, senior climatologist for Environment Canada, told CBC Radio host Dan Kerslake Monday. "It really has been brutal."
Phillips said one of the highlights of the season has been the snow, which began falling earlier than usual and stayed.
"In some places in Saskatchewan the snow on the ground ... the amounts are like 60 to 70 centimetres of snow," Phillips noted. "These are record amounts of what we call snow-on-the-ground."
He added that Regina is closing in on 200 centimetres of snow fall for the season, which compares to 100 centimetres the previous winter.
"And, you're just not getting rid of it. And that's a concern," he said. He added that the soil, prior to the start of winter, was not saturated and may have capacity to absorb more moisture in the spring.
Phillips said weather patterns, this winter, were influenced by Arctic air.
According to Phillips, keeping track of snowfall records is tricky because snowfall can melt and accumulations are affected by wind, which can blow snow into one area and out of another.
In Regina, Phillips said there are two locations that provide insight into snowfall records.
One site has measured snowfalls at the SIAST campus and is current for this season.
The other, at the Regina airport, is not current but has records dating back several decades.
Phillips said at the SIAST site 196 centimetres of snow was noted, as of Sunday, which compares to 195 centimetres in 1955-1956 at the airport site.
Phillips said the data was sufficient for him to consider it a record.
"There could still be some coming," Phillips added, noting the snowfall numbers for this winter could rise.
"People should be issuing certificates: I endured the winter of 2012-2013," he said.
The official change of season, to spring, will be at 5:02 a.m. CST, Wednesday.
"It's going to warm up," Phillips insisted.
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