What is happening?
Snow on the ground has been measured in four communities since the 1960s. Average snow cover for Aroostook, Fredericton, and Moncton was about 135 days, and about 170 days in Charlo. There was no common trend across the communities over the last fifty years. The winter season increased in Aroostook, stayed about the same in Charlo, and decreased in Fredericton and Moncton.
Why is it important?
The length of the winter snow season affects many aspects of our lives in New Brunswick:
- agriculture (soil protection), ecosystems (e.g. groundwater recharge), and forestry (road network);
- energy (hydroelectric power generation);
- recreation and tourism (e.g. snowmobiling, skiing); and
- transportation (public safety and road maintenance).
What is predicted to happen?
In the coming decades, the length of the winter season is expected to decrease across New Brunswick.