Year in Review – 2012 Weather Stories


From super storms to super heat, and from immense flooding to immense fires; go big seemed to be the theme for Mother Nature in 2012. Environment Canada prepared this list of the top ten weather-related stories of the year. 
 
The Big Heat
 
Canadians experienced above normal temperatures and several record breaking days through winter, spring and summer from coast to coast. It’s been a warm year…and decade! 
We saw that here in Tumbler Ridge, with one of the longest summers in memory. While we didn’t experience the heat wave that other places did, the summer remained one of the nicest on record. 
 
Super Storm Sandy and another active hurricane season
 
Forecasters were right on the money when they accurately predicted another active Atlantic hurricane season in 2012. At season’s end, there were 19 named storms from Alberto to Tony, 10 of which became full-blown hurricanes.
 
BC Flooding…Larger, Longer and Lethal
 
High levels of early spring flooding in British Columbia caused washouts, and slides, evacuations and fatalities. While we dodged the bullet here in the Peace (especially after last year), the rest of the province wasn’t so lucky. While we saw below average snow pack, elsewhere it was between 120 and 135 percent of normal across numerous watersheds, including the entire length of the Fraser River. Snowpack was among the deepest measured in years with the fifth highest on record in the Fraser River basin and the second highest ever on the Skeena-Nass. At Roger’s Pass, snowfall in March totaled 324cm – 172 percent above average and the greatest in 47years of records.
 
March’s Meteorological Mildness
 
The March 2012 heat wave was off the scale in every way: intense, huge and long-lasting. The heat eclipsed every previous temperature record and upstaged the winter that wasn’t.
Summer on the Prairies… Warm, Wet and Wild
 
Summer on the Prairies started out with short-lived cool temperatures and ended as one of the top ten warmest on record. It followed a spring that was the third wettest and fifth warmest in 65 years of record-keeping.
 
The Big Melt
 
The year 2012 will go down as one of extraordinary change across the Arctic Ocean, with sea ice that is becoming dramatically thinner, weaker and younger, and melting more easily.
High and Dry in the East
 
Higher than normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall in Eastern Canada meant a great summer for most outdoor enthusiasts but trouble for some crops and water systems.
 
The Year of the Urban Flood
 
While flooding typically hits rural areas hardest, 2012 brought equal opportunity flooding to many urban Canadians.  Thunder Bay experienced record breaking flooding in May while Montreal and Toronto also found themselves with expensive floods weeks later.
 
Hail to Calgary…Again
 
A monstrous hailstorm pelted parts of Calgary with hailstones larger than golf balls late on August 12. In a matter of 10 minutes, pounding hail dimpled vehicles and riddled house siding with millions of dents.
 
Historic Ice-jam Flooding in the Saint John River
 
The first days of spring were marked by a mandatory evacuation for 500 residents of Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation when the Saint John River and several of its tributaries spilled onto nearby fields and roads.