Canada's top ten weather stories of 2012

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A year in review - 2012 weather stories

From super storms to super heat, and from immense flooding to immense fires; go big seemed to be the theme for Mother Nature in 2012.
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Top ten weather stories

1. The Big Heat

Canadians experienced above normal temperatures and several record breaking days through winter, spring and summer from coast to coast to coast. It’s been a warm year…and decade!
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Image of two melting snowman in grass.

2. Super Storm Sandy and Another Active Hurricane Season

Forecasters were right on the money when they accurately predicted another active Atlantic hurricane season in 2012. At season’s end, there were 19 named storms from Alberto to Tony, 10 of which became full-blown hurricanes.
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Waves crashing on the shore during Hurricane Sandy

3. BC Flooding...Larger, Longer and Lethal

High levels of early spring flooding in British Columbia caused washouts, and slides, evacuations and fatalities.
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Image of a flooded lake.

4. March's Meteorological Mildness

The March 2012 heat wave was off the scale in every way: intense, huge and long-lasting. The heat eclipsed every previous temperature record and upstaged the winter that wasn’t.
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Girl looking for maple sap at sugar bush.

5. Summer on the Prairies... Warm, Wet and Wild

Summer on the Prairies started out with short-lived cool temperatures and ended as one of the top ten warmest on record. It followed a spring that was the third wettest and fifth warmest in 65 years of record-keeping.
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Prairie summer storm

6. The Big Melt

The year 2012 will go down as one of extraordinary change across the Arctic Ocean, with sea ice that is becoming dramatically thinner, weaker and younger, and melting more easily.
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Ships in ice

7. High and Dry in the East

Higher than normal temperatures and a lack of rainfall in Eastern Canada meant a great summer for most outdoor enthusiasts but trouble for some crops and water systems.
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Dry forest conditions

8. The Year of the Urban Flood

While flooding typically hits rural areas hardest, 2012 brought equal opportunity flooding to many urban Canadians.  Thunder Bay experienced record breaking flooding in May while Montreal and Toronto also found themselves with expensive floods weeks later.
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Fire hydrant in water.

9. Hail to Calgary...Again

A monstrous hailstorm pelted parts of Calgary with hailstones larger than golf balls late on August 12th. In a matter of 10 minutes, pounding hail dimpled vehicles and riddled house siding with millions of dents.
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Image of hail a hail storm.

10. Historic Ice-jam Flooding in the Saint John River

The first days of spring were marked by a mandatory evacuation for 500 residents of Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation when the Saint John River and several of its tributaries spilled onto nearby fields and roads.
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Image of an ice flood.

Runner-up stories for 2012

Regional highlights

Atlantic Canada



Prairie Provinces

British Columbia

The North

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