According to a federal meteorologist, December 2021 is Whitehorse’s second snowiest year on record.
According to Armel Castellan (a warning meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada), the level of precipitation in this month was at 28% above the December average.
“More impressive still is the [Whitehorse]”Airport has seen its eighth wettest January (and counting) on record,” he wrote in an email sent to CBC News on December 29.
Environment and Climate Change Canada measured snow-on ground at the airport and found 58cmas of Dec. 31. The December month’s second-highest historical record.
Temperature and precipitation records go back to 1942 in Whitehorse. Other notable years include 53 cm in 1971 and 52 cmin 2013.
Castellan wrote, “The snow is showing some impressive early winter figures.”
Cold Arctic air meets warm, moist Pacific Air
Michael Smith, chief meteorologist of the Yukon Government, wrote late December that “this winter definitely stands apart for snow depth, total precipitation” but that he didn’t edit his “not record-breaking” statement.
He explained that the reason there is so much snow is due to the combination of air currents coming from different parts of the country and meeting above Whitehorse.
“The reason for this snowy December has been the combination of cold Arctic air in the southern Yukon and warmer, moist Pacific air. Smith explained that Whitehorse gets its snowier months when these two elements collide over southern Yukon.
The Yukon Government maintains its own weather monitoring system at the Whitehorse automated weather station. Smith stated that the Yukon Government reported 57 cm of snow at its Whitehorse automatic weather station on December 29th.
In the winter of 1980-81, the record for daily snow on ground still stands.
Yukoners aren’t the only ones noticing winter coats on their streets. Environment Canada stated that the Yukon had a colder start for winter, which meteorologically begins on Dec. 1.
On Wednesday, temperatures were between six and seven degrees colder than average December temperatures. This makes it the nineteenth coldest December ever recorded.
Castellan saidpeople can expect colder-than-averagetemperatures over the next week, with lowsaround the mid 40’s C in early January, before factoring in windchill.
Castellan stated that the average high in Whitehorse in December is 3 C and the lowest is 22 C.