Thursday, 6 March 2014

Cool Spring expected for Quebec and Ontario

As I look at the thermometer showing -23C on March 6, the reality is setting in that spring may be further away than I want it to be. Despite the increase in sunshine and daylight minutes, the mercury remains cold in what has been one long and hard winter. This certainly is not the worst we have seen, but it is colder than we have become accustomed to. We were wandering around record low territory this morning here on L'Ile Perrot at least, just missing the previous cold low of -24.3C set in 2007. It will warm up rapidly today under sunny skies and increasing light south winds. We should see a high of -7C and all the way up to plus 1C on Friday. The weekend looks mild with a mix of sun and clouds and perhaps an isolated snowflake or two. There are no storms on the horizon for Montreal at this time.

Not since 1979 has there been so much ice on the Great Lakes. (NOAA)
Spring may be a little delayed this year, which is not a surprise given the amount of snow on the ground and ice on the waterways. Ice has a way of slowing down spring with cold water temperatures on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River affecting land temperatures in Ontario and Quebec. Great Lakes ice cover is nearing the record established in 1979 when 94.7% of the water surface was frozen over. As of March 5, 2014, we are closing in on 92%. This brings with it a whole host of problems from delays in the start of the Seaway shipping season to shore flooding and of course a cool and grey spring. Time will tell but don't look for any record highs this March. The extended forecast looks to be cooler than normal through mid-April. Precipitation is expected to be near or slightly above normal for Montreal, so we may still have a snowstorm or two in our future.

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