Weather in December 2023 was one for the books

Daily heat records continue to be shattered across B.C., and 2023 is on pace to be the hottest year on record worldwide.

It was a warmer-than-usual December, and we’ve got the numbers to back that up.

CityNews Meteorologist Michael Kuss says while there were a number of daily temperature records that fell last month, the average for December was also something to note.

“December was wet, for sure, but man it was warm, especially the last handful of days. A total of 12 days over 10°C, pushing the average temperatures to 7°C and tying December for the warmest on-record at YVR,” he explained.

“To put that in perspective, last year, the average temperature in December was 1.4°C and it snowed on eight of the 31 days for a total of 42 centimetres. This year, we saw just a trace.”

Environment Canada started recording weather conditions at Vancouver International Airport in 1937.

“Vancouver was on pace to be, potentially, the driest year on record, but after a soggy December — 185 millimetres just in that one month alone — it turned out to be the ninth-driest on record. At 875 millimetres for the year though, that’s still 300 millimetres below average,” Kuss explained.

Looking ahead, he says winter weather will finally reach B.C., with the first longer-lasting blast of arctic air set to blanket the region beginning this weekend and lasting through next week.

According to World Weather Attribution, climate change fueled extreme weather in 2023, and is expected to continue to do so in 2024. While experts say 2023 was the hottest year on record, 2024 has the potential to be even hotter, due to human-caused climate change and El Niño, the WWA states.

The warmer-than-seasonal temperatures to start the winter season have done a real number on local ski hills, with the North Shore mountains, Whistler, and other resorts in B.C. struggling with a lack of snow.

Several resorts were offering discounted passes and tickets to entice skiers to visit.

Kuss says with cold air coming, there’s still hope for skiers and riders that this season won’t be a total write-off.

Listen to CityNews 1130 for weather updates every 10 minutes after traffic on the ones. You can also follow Meteorologist Michael Kuss on X and subscribe to breaking news alerts sent directly to your inbox.

-With files from The Canadian Press

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