Icy Wonderland by Don Douglas, via the OttawaStart Flickr Pool.
The winter storm that, as of Sunday afternoon, is still passing through the region, was the coldest & snowiest Ottawa has seen since before the dawn of the 20th century.
Rolf Campbell, who tweets @YOW_Weather, observed that the storm – with a high reaching minus 18 degrees and two-day snow accumulation in surplus of 25 centimetres – was rivaled only by Feb. 8, 1895, when the max temperature was 17.8 degrees and accumulation exceeded 45 centimetres.
(There was also a snowstorm on Jan. 18, 1934 where it was minus 18.3 degrees, but the accumulation was only 15.2 centimetres.)
Coldest snowstorm in more than 120 years. We already have ~25cm, up to 30cm is possible before the storm ends. The last time this happened in #Ottawa was Feb 8th, 1895 when we received 45.7cm of snow with a high of -17.8°C #OttNews pic.twitter.com/hXJM5OCkf7— Ottawa Weather Records🌷 (@YOW_Weather) January 20, 2019
It is unusual for major snowfalls to coincide with intense cold, as CBC climatologist Ian Black tweeted.
True. Intense cold/major snowfalls don't usually occur simultaneously, But they can (looks outside). It is rare though. Very cold air has to be in place and a lot of moisture gets thrown right into it. The real question is why is my wife/daughter driving to Pembroke for hockey? https://t.co/7V7lzf3hS8— Ian Black (@BlacksWeather) January 20, 2019
He added that in 30 years of covering weather, he has never seen an Extreme Cold Warning and a Winter Storm Warning at the same time, as Environment Canada issued the two simultaneously Saturday.
That’s not the only record broken – Jan. 20, 2019 is now the number one snowiest Jan. 20 since records began in 1873, with 21 centimetres of snowfall by 1 p.m.