It's the dead of winter: Here's what the season's been like so far

·2 min read

The dead of winter arrived on Saturday — on average, the coldest time of the year.

Prince Edward Island's dead of winter is a four-day stretch, from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, when the average daytime high temperature is -4.0 Celsius and the overnight low temperature averages -13.4 C. This is based on Environment Canada's climate normals, calculated from the 30-year period from 1981-2010.

But the winter of 2020-21 has been far from normal.

Both December and January had temperatures that averaged 4.4 degrees C above normal at Charlottetown Airport. The coldest night so far was Jan. 21 at -12.9 C, a half degree above the average for this time of year.

This is the sixth year in a row that Prince Edward Island's average temperature in January was above normal.

Snowfall so far this season is just 43 per cent of normal. The records are incomplete in November and December at Charlottetown Airport, but CBC News filled in the missing data using nearby sites.

December was particularly green, with only about 10 centimetres falling, when normally there would be closer to 65. January saw about three-quarters of normal snowfall, but warmer temperatures meant it hasn't stuck.

A normal January would have an average of 22 centimetres of snow on the ground. January 2021 saw only three days with that much snow.

With a storm coming Tuesday, February looks to be getting off to a snowier start.

Temperatures, however, are forecast to remain well above normal.

Monday is expected to be the coldest day of the week, with a high of -2 C and an overnight low of -6 C. For the rest of the week the forecast has daytime highs at freezing or above until Saturday, with overnight lows not falling below -3 C.

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