Wednesday, 2 April 2014

It finally feels a little like Spring

It actually felt like a Spring morning walking my dog today here on L'Ile Perrot. Sure there are still massive piles of dirty snow around, but it was mild and the snow is starting to melt. After the weekend snowstorm that brought 15cm to Montreal, it has been above freezing during the daylight hours and all of last night. Today will be mild again with temperature up to 7C (45F) in Montreal. We can expect a shower or two and even some sunny breaks. A very weak system is moving across Quebec, but it is moisture starved so I am not expecting any heavy precipitation. High pressure will then move into southern Quebec through Friday with sunshine and warm temperatures, lows -2C (28F) with highs near 7C (45F). By the weekend a warm front will bring in clouds and rain.

If you though March was long, cold and snowy, you were right. We ended the month with 60cm (2 feet) of snow at Trudeau Airport in Montreal, well above the 30 year average of 36.2cm. The average maximum temperature was -1.6C well below the normal of plus 2.5C. It was frigid at night with an average low of -10.7C compared to the normal of -6.5C. Departures from normal of several degrees are significant. At least for the near term, April looks and feels a little kinder and gentler.

Utility crews have a big job ahead of them in the Maritimes after back to back storms brought down power lines and poles leaving thousands in the dark. (CTV News)
Such is not the case everywhere in the country. Winter is holding on in Atlantic Canada with yet another ice and snowstorm over the weekend lasting well into Tuesday. Significant amounts of freezing rain and snow have brought down power lines and poles as well as closed businesses, schools and roads. Students on PEI have not been in class for up to one week now. In several regions of the Maritimes, the plows were pulled off the roads yet again yesterday in heavy snow and blowing snow. On the Magdelen Islands, Hydro Quebec crews arrived yesterday to restore power to 1700 customers on the archipelago, out since the weekend due to heavy freezing rain and strong winds. Meanwhile in northwest Ontario, Sioux Lookout established a new April record on Tuesday with 53cm of snow in 24 hours.

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