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Photos: May snow shatters 37-year-old snowfall record

Eight centimetres of snow fell yesterday and another two so far today

Thanks to two different spring snowstorms that fell within the same 24-hour period, the weather for May 7, 2020 was record-breaking.

The previous record for Greater Sudbury for snowfall on May 7 was 2.4 centimetres, and was set back in 1983. But that record was shattered yesterday, as eight centimetres of snow fell at the Greater Sudbury Airport.

But the record for May 8 still hasn't been broken — yet.

So far today, only two centimetres of snow have fallen. The record for snowfall on May 8 was set a decade ago, in 2010, when 4.8 centimetres of snow fell.

“We need 2.8 centimetres more,” said Environment Canada meteorologist Gerald Cheng, in an interview with Sudbury.com Friday morning.

“That is possible … If you look at the temperature, it's still going to be quite cold. There are still flurries in the forecast, especially even into tonight.”

As for the total amount of snow on the ground, as of 8 a.m. May 8, 10 centimetres of snow was recorded at the Greater Sudbury Airport. 

This metric is record-breaking as well, as previously, the most snow recorded on the ground in Sudbury for May 8 was two centimetres in 1983.

“It's unusual to get that much snow (in May),” Cheng said.

“But when you think about Northern Ontario, we do have these big swings in temperatures in terms of how cold it gets, even into May. Today is specifically quite abnormal, because we're talking about 15 degrees off the daytime highs from last season. This is extraordinary. 

“It's all because of that Polar Vortex up north at the north pole that's expanding, and it's allowing the cold air at the surface to surge south. That's why it's so cold.”

The meteorologist said we won't see temperatures return to closer to seasonal values until the Victoria Day long weekend.

The good news: Cheng said the snow will probably melt by sometime on Saturday, when there will be a daytime high of 4 C.

Did you take photos of the snowfall? Send them to editor@sudbury.com or post them in the comments below, and we’ll include them in our photo gallery.

Please note we have already received a large number of photo submissions, and it may take us some time to post them.


Heidi Ulrichsen

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