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Warm and no snow in Edmonton: Just how unusual is this November weather?

Edmonton Weather
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Edmonton will get to December 1st without snow on the ground for the first time since 2008.

Historically, it’s odd but not exactly "rare" to get into December without snow. If I asked you whether the odds of having snow on the ground in Edmonton to start December were over or under 85%, most people would probably go with the over. But, it’s actually under (barely). 83% of years since 1948 have had snow on the ground December 1st. 13 of the past 75 years have had none.

Some of those years had a bit of snow early in November that melted by the 30th. But, most of those years had no measurable snow depth throughout the month.

Interestingly, none of the years with no snow December 1st turned into years with a "brown" Christmas. In the past 75 years, Edmonton has had no snow on the ground for Christmas just three times. 2005, 1997 and 1959 all had snow earlier in the winter that melted by Dec 25th. Also of note: 1989, 1988 and 1987 only had 1-2 cm of snow on the ground Christmas day.

So, the fact there’s no snow on the ground now isn’t an indicator of whether or not we’ll still have no snow in a few weeks.

Daytime highs for November were above average on 28 of 30 days and “average” for 3 days. We only had TWO days with a daytime high below zero. That’s the fewest since 2009 which had NO daytime highs below zero.

The average high for the month is in the top 5 warmest for the past 75 years.

Historically, the average high for November is 0.8 degrees. This year was almost 5 degrees warmer than that. Only 1949, 2009 and 1954 were warmer (again, I’m only dealing with the past 75 years of data). 2016 and 2008 are the only other years in the past three-quarters of a century that had an average high above 5 degrees.

Bottom line – November 2023 wasn’t a record-setter for temperatures or the lack of snow. But, it was definitely on the "unusual" side of history.

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