Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 5/1/2018 (654 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg had the third driest year on record, according to meteorological firm Weatherlogics.
"Total precipitation was 333.1 millimetres at the airport, just 1.1 mm wetter than 2006, the second driest year on record," Weatherlogics said in a tweet.
Dry doesn't mean drought, though. Winnipeg was described as one of the country's sweet spots last summer — not too wet and not too dry.
A normal year's rain, snow and sleet add up to 527.2 millimetres based on averages from 1981-2010, Weatherlogics noted.
"It was a bit surprising because it didn't seem like the driest year, but there was a little less precipitation each month. And a little less adds up," Weatherlogic meteorologist Scott Kehler said.
It takes 25 millimetres to make an inch, so a 1.1-millimetre difference is just enough to wet the ground, an Environment Canada forecaster said in reaction.
"It's noteworthy but not outstanding," said forecaster Greg Pearce from Environment Canada's weather office in Vancouver.
The site also posted a fact box showing Winnipeg's driest years dating back to 1875 and cited its sources. A variety of various weather experts retweeted it in short order.
"Wow, I didn't realize it was that dry. Makes sense though, only two months had above normal precip (Apr, Sep)," former Environment Canada meteorologist Rob Paola tweeted in reply.
"It was a surprise to me it was the third driest year on record but we didn't have a lot of rain in the summer and not a lot of snow in the winter, either," said Paolo, who posts weather reports and statistical oddities at robsobs.ca.
Last winter, two huge storms dumped tonnes of snow on the city, which blew the city's snow-removal budget. But both those storms were in December and neither counted in the weather data for 2017.
Kehler added one note of caution looking ahead into 2018: with soil-moisture levels lower than last year, farmers could be in trouble if there is a lack of rain this summer.
"Summer forecasts are the hardest ones to do, but we're low (now) on soil moisture and we've had a dry winter so far. We're still six months away from the start of the summer, but I would lean toward the potential for a dry year again," Kehler said.
Alexandra is a veteran news reporter who has covered stories for the Winnipeg Free Press since 1987. She held the medical beat for nearly 17 years, and today specializes in coverage of Indigenous-related issues. She is among the most versatile journalists on the paper’s staff.
We’ve tallied the data and 2017 was the third driest year since records began in Winnipeg. Total precipitation was 333.1 mm at the Airport, just 1.1 mm "wetter" than 2006, the second driest year on record. Normal annual precipitation (1981-2010) is 527.2 mm. #mbwx pic.twitter.com/3Ab97bOtDi— Weatherlogics (@weatherlogics) January 4, 2018
Updated on Friday, January 5, 2018 at 2:26 PM CST: fixes repeating paragraph