Latest dumping puts Toronto 13 cm above average for a winter

Colin MccOnnell/Torstar News Service


A bike parked on Broadview Avenue yesterday is buried in snow after the GTA received more than 30 centimetres of the white stuff in the latest storm to hit the area. Toronto has received 128 centimetres of snow this winter, 13 centimetres above the city’s average for an entire winter.

After two abnormally temperate winters, Jack Frost has returned to Toronto with his pockets full of snow — near record amounts, to be precise.

Wednesday and yesterday’s accumulated snow dump of 33 centimetres pushed this winter’s total accumulation to 128 cm — 13 cm above Toronto’s average snowfall for an entire winter.

But while this winter has been snowier than most, the actual amount of fluff that remains in town is closer to 50 cm because above seasonal temperatures in January melted away the 78 cm that had accumulated after earlier snow dumps.

"Our climate tends to fluctuate, especially around the freezing mark. You can see a good snowfall and then five days later it’s raining and five degrees. Then the snow disappears," says Geoff Coulson, a Toronto-based meteorologist with Environment Canada.

With 128 cm this winter, the city has received roughly the same amount of snow since November 2007 as it did in the previous two winters combined.

An expected snowfall of between four and 10 centimetres tomorrow might make this winter the second snowiest winter on record.

Toronto’s snow removal budget for 2008 is $67 million. Myles Currie, director of transportation services with the city, said yesterday’s storm has likely cost the city $5 million in plowing and salting.

Should this winter break accumulation records, the city would have to dip into auxiliary funds.

previous highs

  • The snowiest season on record was the winter of 1937-38 when 207.4 cm of snow fell on the city. In recent years, the winter of 1971-72 received the most snow with 136.1 cm — more than the winter of 1998-99, infamous for then-mayor Mel Lastman’s decision to call in the military to dig the city out from a January snowfall.

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