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Ottawa just had its coldest & snowiest winter storm in over 120 years

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.)

It is unusual for major snowfalls to coincide with intense cold, as CBC climatologist Ian Black tweeted.

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.