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Last month was one of the coldest Decembers on record in Nanaimo

Heavy snow expected tonight, warmer temperatures coming
Sheets of ice float on the surface of Sway’ A’ Lana Lagoon in Maffeo Sutton Park on Dec. 30. December 2021 turned out to be one of the coldest Decembers on record in Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Anyone who thought this past December was a particularly cold one would be right.

According to Environment Canada, December 2021 had an average mean temperature of 0.3 C, compared to the normal mean temperature of 3.1 C, measured at Nanaimo Airport.

“So it was definitely colder than normal and it was the fourth-coldest mean temperature for the period on record in Nanaimo and that goes back to 1892,” said Brian Proctor, Environment Canada meteorologist.

The lowest recorded mean temperature for December was -0.1 C in 1983.

In terms of precipitation, Proctor said, it was a pretty typical month with 198.8 millimetres compared to the average of 184.3mm.

There’s more snow on the way, being delivered by a “more classical” weather system that will butt up against the edge of the arctic outflow that lowered temperatures in December and is still hovering over the north part of the province.

Commuters dealt with icy roads Wednesday morning from clear skies and freezing temperatures Tuesday night, but those gave way to warmer temperatures as skies clouded over Wednesday. A mix of drizzling rain and snow will turn to heavy snow falling overnight, as Proctor warned to expect 15 to 25 centimetres of snow.

“That’s probably going to be areas a little bit inland that are going to receive some of that, maybe a little less right along the coast, but it’s going to be a messy night out there,” he said.

He said to expect heavy snow, laden tree branches and possible power outages with winds out of the southeast gusting 20 to 40 kilometres per hour.

Proctor said the good news is there are warmer temperatures expected starting over the weekend and into next week with periods of rain and high temperatures of 6 C and overnight lows of 4 C.

READ ALSO: Expect snow, freezing rain on Vancouver Island with latest winter weather warning

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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