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CINDY DAY: Remembering the spring of ’72!

Janine Angela Musolino Sanford's family photo album preserves memories of the May 10, 1972, snow storm that hit Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Her grandparents Harold and Iris Johnson, as well as her great-grandfather Gerald A. Hatter shovelling snow in the Hydrostone neighborhood of Halifax, N.S.
Do you remember photo albums? We all had them! Janine Angela Musolino Sanford was going through family photos when she came across these great pictures taken in the Hydrostone area of Halifax following the May 10th snowstorm in 1972! - Contributed

It’s been cool! That icy north wind has been holding our afternoon highs well below seasonal values and the lack of night cloud cover has invited our old friend Jack Frost back to the region.

Cindy Day
Cindy Day

As a reminder, the normal high temperatures as we approach mid-May should range from 11 to 15 C across the Maritimes and sit between 5 and 13 C over Newfoundland and Labrador. 

When I mentioned flurries in my Wednesday evening forecast, many of you reacted with a chorus of “Flurries Cindy, it’s May!”

Well any year we get through May with only flurries is a good year, but it doesn’t happen very often.  May has been known to serve up a few doozies.  

If you’re old enough to remember 1972 or someone in your family wisely saved photos, you know all about that May snowstorm.  It was May 10, this very date in 1972 when a powerful May storm barreled across the region, setting all kinds of snowfall records in Atlantic Canada.

I dug out a photo montage that Janine Angela Musolino Sanford posted on my Facebook page last year.  It’s a picture from her family photo album.  You’ll find her grandparents, Harold and Iris Johnson, and in the bottom left photo her great-grandfather Gerald A. Hatter – shovelling snow on May 10, 1972, at the corner of Isleville and Stairs Pl in the Hydrostone in Halifax, N.S.

How much snow fell?  Too much for May.  Halifax banked the most snow that day with a whopping 27 cm; Sydney followed closely behind with 25 cm.  Parts of the Annapolis Valley were shovelling out from under close to 20 cm that day.  That same storm brought snow to Newfoundland and Labrador, but the totals were not quite as impressive: 14 cm for St. John’s and 12 cm for Corner Brook.  Still, more than most would expect on May 10!  Over on Prince Edward Island, residents were spared; there was not even enough snow to whiten the ground.

May was snowy and cold across Atlantic Canada; in fact, it was unseasonably cool all year.  But we did not suffer alone; 1972 was the only year on record when all weather-reporting stations in Canada reported below-normal temperatures for the entire year.  

One for the record books and the scrapbooks!

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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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