Kuujjuaq experiences snowy, warmer than average winter
No records beaten yet, says Environment Canada
KUUJUAQ — If there’s a sound you are liable to hear this February in Kuujjuaq, it’s the rumbling of heavy machinery scooping up snow and throwing it onto huge mounds.
Since November, Nunavik’s administrative hub has seen 156 centimetres of snow — of which 103 cm has fallen since December.
That amount of snow is not a record-breaker yet, according to Environment Canada statistics, which show 175 cm of snow on the ground in 1963.
But Kuujjuaq is still likely to beat the average snowfall recorded over 40-plus years by end the end of April, says Environment Canada meteorologist Maxime Desharnais.
The average amount of snow that Kuujjuaq usually sees by the end of April reaches about 200 cm — and nearly 60 cm of that falls between now and the end of April.
If that amount falls, Kuujjuaq could expect to exceed the normal amount of snow over the winter of 2012-13, Desharnais said.
The past winter has also seen higher-than-average temperatures in Kuujjuaq, with highs on Feb. 26 reaching -3.7 C in Kuujjuaq. Those highs are much higher than the usual -16 C high temperature for that date.
But that’s still not a record-breaker in Kuujjuaq for Feb. 26: in 2002 it was 2.5 C in Kuujjuaq and in 1955 temperatures plunged to - 39.4 C.
Overall, Environment Canada says that the maximum temperatures recorded since Dec. 1 have averaged -14.4 C (more than three degrees warmer than the normal temperatures for the period).
The low temperatures have also been higher: -23.3 C during that period compared to the normal average low of -27 C.
The warmer high and low temperatures for Kuujjuaq produce an average daily temperature of -18.8 C so far for the winter, which is higher than the previous normal average temperatures for the community of -22.5 C.