Thursday, 20 March 2014

According to the calendar - Spring arrives today

Spring arrives today at 12:57 PM as the sun crosses the equator and moves into the Northern Hemisphere. The days are getting longer and in time the warm sun will win out over the cold and snow. In time, but for now, as the forecast does not look anything like spring.

SUMMERSTOWN, ONTARIO west of the Quebec/Ontario border, if only the name would imply the season. The St. Lawrence Seaway remains frozen solid along its length from Montreal to Kingston. The opening has been delayed several days to March 31. If warmer weather does not arrive soon, limits may be placed on which ships can traverse the system.
(Valley Weather Photo)

On Tuesday, Toronto reached the dubious distinction of having at least 1cm of snow on the ground for 100 consecutive days. So I thought I would take a look at Montreal, specifically Trudeau Airport where the official stats are kept. Our first snowfall was November 26th, since that day we have had 109 days of snow accumulation on the ground greater than 1cm. That includes 100 consecutive days as off today, March 20. We had 4 such days in November, 27 days in December, followed by all of January, February and so far March. So indeed it has been a long winter, not the worst on record, but relentless. The piles of dirty snow sit high on everyone's front lawns and in parking lots across the city melting a little each day. Add to that all the frigid cold, strong winds and freezing rain and it has been a challenging few months for sure.

That brings us to this morning. We had a few centimetres of slushy wet snow overnight in Montreal that has since turned to light rain. We are sitting just above the freezing point at 2C. Snow is still falling up towards Quebec City and north of St. Jerome in the Laurentians. Low pressure will pass east of Montreal this morning with light rain and snow tapering off. Temperatures will make it to 4C (39F) before sliding back below freezing tonight. More light snow is expected this evening and overnight. A few hours of clearing may take place Friday before another clipper system brings more snow, perhaps as much as 5-10cm into Saturday. Temperatures will be mild or near normal into Saturday before more cold air arrives on Sunday with well below normal temperatures into next week, lows in the minus teens and highs around -4C by Monday. No real warming trend is on the horizon at this time.

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