April Snow Not Uncommon In Niagara


Rob Paola in a photo taken last summer in Toronto while he was helping with weather forecast support at the Pan Am Games, including providing forecasts for the Welland Flatwater Centre. (Supplied photo)

By Rob Paola

Looks like Welland will be waking up to a winter wonderland tomorrow morning … 15 cm quite possible for Welland through tonight, possibly up to 20 cm if you get some heavier bands. This will likely be Welland’s biggest April snowfall since Apr 2-3, 2005 when the city received 21 cm over 2 days.

Although usually seen as an unseasonable occurrence, snow in April is not uncommon in Niagara, and in fact can be expected every year. Average April snowfall in Welland is 4.7 cm, and a snowfall of 5 cm or more can be expected once every 5 years or so.

There have been some dramatic April snowstorms in Welland, the biggest occurring on April 11 1894 when 43 cm was recorded on a single day. The snowiest April on record was back in 1904 when a whopping 67.6 cm fell over 6 straight days from April 14-19th.

The snowfall tonight will likely stick around for a couple days as temperatures remain below freezing before milder weather and rain melts it away by Wednesday.

(Rob Paola, a “Welland boy” as the saying goes, is with Environment Canada and currently works at the Prairie and Arctic Storm Prediction Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba as a supervisor and severe weather meteorologist. Following Welland’s weather, even from afar, has been a long-time interest.)




One thought on “April Snow Not Uncommon In Niagara

  1. Bob Chambers

    Joe and the blog:

    It’s great to see weather guru Rob Paola prove that snow in April
    is very common. My own experience with inclement April weather
    comes from a different direction than Rob’s facts. As a newspaper
    photographer for 31 years, I often saw the old adage ….. “March
    comes in like lion, but goes out like a lamb”….. proven to be
    completely WRONG many years.
    To make use of my mistrust of that old phrase, I would often take
    a picture of a nice day on March 1st, to be able to contrast it
    with a scene from a rotten day around March 31st-April 1st,
    when it would, almost inevitably, occur.
    My only quarrel with the official weather records is them being
    in tenths of centimetre ….. rounding them to a centimetre
    (3/8ths of an inch) is close enough for me. When you’re out
    shovelling the white stuff, or pushing your car out of a drift,
    an extra 3/8ths of an inch, more or less, of snow, ain’t gonna’
    be noticed.

    Bob C


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