Environment Canada

Environment Canada

January 03, 2007 16:02 ET

Environment Canada: Ontario Weather Review

December 2006

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 3, 2007) - Could this be the year without winter? December is typically the start of the winter season with cold temperatures and snow, but this year warmer temperatures made it seem more like fall or spring.

Record breaking temperatures for the month were recorded throughout the province. In many areas of Ontario it was the warmest December on record, and in those places where temperatures were not the warmest, they were the second warmest. It was so warm that only a few communities in Northern and Northwestern Ontario had a white Christmas.

The ski and snowmobile areas didn't have a great start to the season. Even though precipitation in December was within normal values warmer temperatures meant that all the precipitation that fell was rain rather than snow. While winter sports enthusiasts weren't happy with the lack of snow, others were pleased that it was costing them less to heat their homes, and office buildings.

Severe Weather

December 1 was heralded in by a major winter storm. Strong winds, rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and snow were the order of the day. By December 2, Windsor and Trenton had received 44 and 52 millimetres of rain respectively. Hamilton had experienced problems with local flooding, and the area from Parry Sound to Ottawa was coated with up to 28 millimetres of freezing rain. Winter had arrived with a vengeance.

Further north, North Bay westward to Sault Ste. Marie got 15 to 20 centimetres of snow. Toronto was lashed by strong easterly winds the morning of December 1 that tore umbrellas from people's hands and made walking almost impossible, but only near the waterfront. Just a few kilometres further north in Downsview, hardly a tree branch was stirring. As the low pressure centre passed eastward strong southwesterly winds picked up in the wake of the low. This gave sustained wind speeds along the north shore of Lake Erie of 80 to 100 kilometres per hour with maximum gusts up to 120 kilometres.

After this winter-like start, the rest of December was very mild. On December 7, lake effect snow squalls dumped 47 centimetres of snow on London. On December 22 and 23 freezing rain made travelling difficult for those in eastern Ontario, particularly the Ottawa River Valley, trying to get home before Christmas.



Record temperature readings:

Location Mean Temp Normal Difference Previous record
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geraldton -7.9 -14.8 6.9 -8.1(2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trenton 1.5 -4.0 5.5 0.3(2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kingston 2.1 -3.2 5.3 0.7(2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Peterborough -0.1 -5.3 5.2 -0.6(2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Toronto Pearson 1.8 -2.9 4.7 1.7(2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windsor 3.2 -1.5 4.7 1982(3.0)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sarnia 2.1 -2.3 4.4 2.0(1982)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wiarton 1.1 -3.3 4.4 1.0(2001)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hamilton 1.6 -2.7 4.3 1.5(1982)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Waterloo 0.4 -3.8 4.2 0.2(1982)
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Unusual temperature readings:

Location Mean Temp Normal Difference Warmest since
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moosonee -8.6 -16.3 7.7 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kapuskasing -7.1 -14.3 7.2 1994
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pickle Lake -10.9 -17.9 7.0 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timmins -6.5 -13.2 6.7 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Earlton -5.7 -12.1 6.4 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Petawawa -3.4 -9.4 6.0 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sioux Lookout -9.0 -15.0 6.0 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dryden -8.7 -14.5 5.8 1997
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kenora -8.4 -14.1 5.7 2003
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Red Lake -10.5 -16.2 5.7 1997
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sudbury -3.8 -9.5 5.7 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thunder Bay -5.9 -11.6 5.7 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Wawa -4.8 -10.3 5.5 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ottawa -1.7 -7.1 5.4 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
North Bay -3.8 -9.1 5.3 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapleau -6.7 -11.8 5.1 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Muskoka -1.7 -6.6 4.9 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
London 1.5 -3.0 4.5 1982
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sault Ste Marie -2.2 -6.3 4.1 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Toronto City 2.8 -0.9 3.7 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elliot Lake -3.5 -6.6 3.1 2001
------------------------------------------------------------------------


Unusual precipitation readings (in millimetres):

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Location Precipitation Normal Difference Wettest since
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elliot Lake 123.2 81.1 42.1 1996
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Moosonee 71.0 34.7 36.3 1955
------------------------------------------------------------------------
North Bay 99.0 70.9 28.1 2004
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trenton 108.2 80.4 27.8 1996
------------------------------------------------------------------------
London 113.6 88.6 25.0 1982
------------------------------------------------------------------------


(Egalement offert en francais)

Contact Information

  • Environment Canada, Ontario Region
    Ashleigh Wilson
    Communications Advisor/Media Relations
    (416) 739-4926
    Website: www.ec.gc.ca