Several milestones were set in 2012 when it comes to warm weather in Winnipeg and in much of North America.
Here in Winnipeg, and for southern Manitoba in general, a long warm spell began in mid 2011, and continued through almost ¾ of 2012. This featured a full 15 consecutive warmer than normal months; a streak that began in June 2011 and ended after August 2012 (using the 1981-2010 normals). Numerous milestones were highlighted during these 15 months:
Jul 2011 ..... second highest humidex ever (47.2 on Jul 19, only 0.1 away from record of 47.3 in 2007)
Aug 2011 .... hottest day since 1995 (37.2°C on Aug 23)
Sep 2011 .... 4 consecutive days above 30°C, tying for longest streak ever in September
Oct 2011 .... all-time hottest October day (31.1°C on Oct 5)
Nov 2011 .... 9.7°C on Nov 24, 3rd latest that we've hit a temperature as warm or warmer
Dec 2011 .... rare brown Christmas over much of southern Manitoba
Jan 2012 .... 3rd warmest January, and 6.7°C on Jan 5 was 3rd warmest January day ever
Feb 2012 .... 4th warmest winter
Mar 2012 .... warmest March ever and at least 22 warm temperature records broken
May 2012 .... 2nd warmest spring
Jul 2012 ..... 5th hottest July
Aug 2012 .... tied 10th hottest summer
In the end, 2012 had an average mean temperature of 4.56°C, a little over 1.5 degrees above the 1981-2010 normal and 5th warmest year since 1873.
The only reason that 2012 wasn't even warmer in the record books is due to a cold finish from October to December. In fact, all the way up to October, 2012 was actually running as the warmest. This occurred for 3 consecutive months. In other words, 2012 featured the warmest January to August period, January to September period and January to October period.
And if you think those were enough records to break, you'll be surprised by this next record!
In 2012, we broke the record for the warmest 12-month period, a record which stood for 135 years (5.61°C from Dec 1877 to Nov 1878)! And... we didn't just beat that record once, we beat it 7 times! The warmest of these, from August 2011 to July 2012, will now be known as the warmest 12 month period with an average mean temperature of 6.02°C. Records for these date back to 1873.
The records don't end there!
The coldest temperature in 2012 was a measly -29.0°C on December 24. This is the first time that the airport has not hit -30°C in a calendar year since records have been taken there in 1938. In addition, this is only the second time that the city has not hit -30°C since 1872 (I make the distinction between both because prior to 1938, temperatures were taken close to downtown and not at the airport). The last time we didn't hit -30°C in a year was in 1931 with a yearly minimum of -29.4°C. That means 2012's yearly minimum of -29.0°C is also the warmest yearly minimum on record.
We have now been 681 consecutive days without hitting -30°C (including today Jan 6, 2013). However, this is still not long enough to break the old record of 714 days from Feb 15, 1930 to Jan 29, 1932 (almost a full 2 years!).
|Pic by Kristina Fickes, Environment Canada|
In the contiguous United States, July was also the hottest month ever, even beating July 1936! Similarly to Canada, August 2011 to July 2012 was the warmest 12-month period since 1895. The average mean temperature was 56.1°F (13.4°C) beating the old record of 55.5°F (13.1°C) from November 1999 to October 2000. In addition, the January to July period was the warmest on record with an average mean temperature of 56.4°F (13.6°C). This easily beat the old record of 54.5°F (12.5°C) in 1998.
2012 was also the hottest year ever in the contiguous United States, and by a huge margin. Details here.
This post contains information, photos or video from the following sources:
Jeff Master's WunderBlog
Environment Canada Weatheroffice and Top 10 weather events of 2012