Halifax seeing record low snow levels

News source from CTV News

Halifax and other areas of Nova Scotia are in the midst of a record setting snow drought, as the city has seen less than 20 centimetres of snow this winter.

At Martock Ski Hill outside of Windsor, N.S., the snow machines are running full blast, covering the mountain in artificial snow.

“We get to pick exactly the kind of snow we want to make,” says Rosie Browning, a Ranger at Martock Ski Hill

The hill needs a base of about three to five feet of snow to be ski-able, but so far this year, the area has seen less than 20 cm of snow, a low that hasn’t been seen in more than 60 years.

“There’s lots of different kinds of snow that falls from the sky, whereas we get to make exactly the kind of snow we want. That’s going to hold up better in rough snow, and be nice to ski on,” explained Browning.

But away from ski hills, it is difficult to find snow in many parts of Nova Scotia.

In Halifax, just 18 cm have fallen since the beginning of the year.

“Typically for this time of year, (Halifax) would have about 90 cm of snow. So we’re talking about something that’s less than 20% of what you normally would get,” says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada.

Halifax has had the same number of snowfall days as last year, but the storms are coming from the South and moving in land, just missing the city.

“It’s putting New Brunswick on the cold side of the weather systems, and it’s putting Nova Scotia, particularly Halifax, on the warm side. And yet, when you look at the temperatures, this winter has not been unusually cold, in fact, January’s been slightly below normal,” says Phillips.

“For people who like to ski and the kids that like to go sliding and things like that, it’s not good for them, but I’m happy,” says Ian Packford, a Halifax resident.

But not everyone is happy about the lack of snow this season.

“A lot of our staff and families depend on the snow, being a snow company and all, to pay the bills and keep things going, so it’s been a little bit tough on our staff and their families at a time of year when normally we’d have our fair share of snow,” says Murray Countway, owner of All-Star Landscaping.

Countway and his staff have been busy salting this winter, but the plows haven’t seen much action. But they say they are ready whenever winter weather arrives.

Phillips says that Halifax residents shouldn’t put their shovels away just yet. There is snow in the forecast for Monday, about 10 cm worth.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.

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