Climate Trends and Variations Bulletin - Winter 2019/2020

Winter 2019/2020 bulletin (PDF, 1.2 MB)

This bulletin summarizes recent climate data and presents it in a historical context. It first examines the national average temperature for the season and then highlights interesting regional temperature information.

Over the past decade, precipitation monitoring technology has evolved and Environment and Climate Change Canada and its partners implemented a transition from manual observations to using automatic precipitation gauges. Extensive data integration is required to link the current precipitation observations to the long term historical manual observations.  The update and reporting of historical adjusted precipitation trends and variations will be on temporary hiatus pending the extensive data reconciliation, and resumed thereafter. ECCC remains committed to providing credible climate data to inform adaptation decision making, while ensuring the necessary data reconciliation occurs as monitoring technology evolves.

Temperature departures and rankings data table (CSV, 9 kB) 
Temperature trends and extremes data table (CSV, 2 kB)

National temperature

The national average temperature for the winter (December-February) of 2019/2020 was 1.9°C above the baseline average (defined as the mean over the 1961–1990 reference period), based on preliminary data, which is the 17th warmest observed since nationwide recording began in 1948. The warmest winter occurred in 2009/2010, when the national average temperature was 4.1°C above the baseline average. The coolest winter occurred in 1971/1972, when the national average temperature was 3.6°C below the baseline average. The temperature departures map (below) shows that most of Canada except parts of Yukon and Northwest Territories experienced temperatures above the baseline average, with the most notable departures at 2°C above the baseline experienced in Central Canada (including most of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec). Meanwhile, some areas in northern Yukon experienced winter temperatures below the baseline average. 

Temperature departures from the 1961 to 1990 average - Winter 2019/2020 

 

The temperature departures map.
Long description 

The temperature departures map shows that most of Canada except parts of Yukon and Northwest Territories experienced temperatures above the baseline average, with the most notable departures at 2°C above the baseline experienced in Central Canada (including most of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec). Meanwhile, some areas in northern Yukon experienced winter temperatures below the baseline average. 

The time series graph (below) shows that averaged winter temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year over the 1948–2020 period. With the exception of 2014, averaged winter temperatures have remained above the baseline average since 1996. The linear trend indicates that winter temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 3.3°C over the past 73 years.

Winter national temperature departures and long-term trend, 1948-2020  

The time series graph shows that averaged winter temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year.
Long description 

The time series graph shows that averaged winter temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year over the 1948–2020 period. With the exception of 2014, averaged winter temperatures have remained above the baseline average since 1996. The linear trend indicates that winter temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 3.3°C over the past 73 years.

Regional temperature

When examined on a regional basis, average winter temperatures for 2019/2020 were among the 10 warmest on record since 1948 for one of the eleven climate regions: the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence (8th warmest at 2.9°C above average). None of the eleven climate regions experienced an average winter temperature for 2018/2019 that ranked among the 10 coolest since 1948. All eleven climate regions exhibit positive trends for winter temperatures over the 73 years of record. The strongest regional trend (+5.5°C) is observed in the Yukon/North B.C. Mountains region, while the weakest trend (+0.7°C) is found in the Atlantic Canada region. A table listing the Winter regional and national temperature departures and rankings from 1948 to 2020 (CSV, 9kB) and summarizes the Winter regional and national trends and extremes (CSV, 2kB) are available through the above links or by request to ec.btvc-ctvb.ec@canada.ca.

A map that shows the Canadian climate regions.
Long description

A map that shows the Canadian Climate Regions: Atlantic Canada, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands, Northeastern Forest, Northwestern Forest, Prairies, South British Columbia Mountains, Pacific Coast, North British Columbia Mountains/Yukon, Mackenzie District, Arctic Tundra, Arctic Mountains and Fiords.

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