By the time Haligonians rang in the new year at the end of December, Nova Scotia had seen grand total of only three centimetres of snow, according to Environment Canada. This was perhaps seen as a good omen; a suggestion that it would be a mild winter overall. But in the months that followed, winter returned with a vengeance.
As March comes to an end, some travel agents say business is better than ever as more and more Haligonians are looking to get away.
“I have been completely swamped this year and there is definitely an increase in people enquiring about packages,” Joanne Roberts, an associate at Flight Centre, writes in an email. She says that despite prices for package vacations being higher this year, many packages are still being booked.
#SnovaScotia is real. The Coast said it best:
can someone help halifax with this mess
— THE COAST HALIFAX (@TwitCoast) March 18, 2015
The “mess” refers to the massive snowstorm that walloped the Maritimes on March 18, only three days after a previous storm.
By comparison, the severity of Nova Scotia’s winter in the first few months of 2015 has been worse than any in recent years. For example, March 2014 saw 36.8 centimetres of snowfall on the province. This year on March 18 alone, Halifax saw a snowfall amount of 48 centimetres. Nova Scotia received 111.3 centimetres this March — three times the amount of last March.
Environment Canada reports that over the first three months of 2015, Nova Scotia saw 301.3 centimetres of snow, or just under 10 feet.
Halifax’s brutal winter has been a hot topic for online communities. CBC’s 22 Minutes even poked fun at the recent storms.
Haligonians searching for the sun
Blair Jerrett, senior director at Maritime Travel, says that they are still in the midst of a busy booking season. He also says that many of their agencies report an increase in inquires about travel packages in the days after storms.
“Without a doubt, we find that weather does have an effect on how busy our offices get in the winter,” Jerrett writes in an email. “Back-to-back snowstorms like the ones we’ve been having the past two months have caused many people —who previously may not have been planning to head south— to consider a last-minute getaway.”
Jerrett says the most popular destinations are the direct, all-inclusive packages in places like Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.
Roberts says that cottage rentals in the Maritimes are also booking up faster than usual. She urges people to plan their ‘getaways’ now.
The rest of us will remain in Halifax, trying to remember what grass looks like.