Canada was walloped by wild weather in 2013, with record flooding in Calgary and Toronto leading Environment Canada’s annual compilation of notable stories.
But there were also some bright spots, including an ideal growing season in the West and record-breaking sunshine in B.C.
10. Record B.C. sunshine
British Columbians enjoyed a “near-perfect summer,” with record-breaking continuous sunshine and not a drop of rain in Vancouver and Victoria in the whole month of July, Environment Canada said.
9. Deadly stormy seas in Maritimes
8. Endless Prairie winter
Westerners had “what seemed to be a never-ending seven-month” winter, the agency said, from Thanksgiving of 2012 to a month after Easter in 2013.
7. Spring floods in Ontario’s cottage country
Torrential April rains and a sudden snow-melt resulted in flood levels not seen in the past 100 years near Georgian Bay in central Ontario’s cottage country, Environment Canada said.
6. Eastern blizzard
A blizzard of “historic proportions” dumped as much as 60 centimetres of snow along the Atlantic Coast in February, the agency said. The weather system also affected Southern Ontario and Quebec.
5. ‘Rebound’ in Arctic and Great Lakes
Environment Canada said water levels experienced a “rebound” in the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. The coldest summer in 15 years in the eastern Arctic slowed sea ice melting in the Arctic Ocean. And the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence area had one of the wettest years on record – more than 13 per cent wetter than normal – which helped restore water levels.
- Related: A look at the Arctic sea ice decline
4. Red River Valley non-flood
3. Bumper crops in the West
2. Toronto floods
Two separate storm cells dropped more water on Toronto in two hours on July 8 than the city normally receives in the whole month. The storm hit during evening rush hour, stranding thousands of commuters, including a GO Transit train.
- Related: Tales from the Toronto flood
1. Alberta floods
In the worst weather to hit the country this year, massive flooding affected one-quarter of Alberta and forced up to 100,000 people from their homes in June. Much of Calgary was submerged and dozens of communities in Southern Alberta were cut off by the deluge, which Environment Canada said is likely the “most disruptive” flooding in Canadian history. The floods were also the country’s costliest natural disaster, with damages in the billions of dollars.
- Related: 100 days after the Alberta flood