One of the mildest winters ever recorded in Montreal

One of the mildest winters ever recorded in Montreal

Did you feel like you hadn't seen a traditional freezing winter? Did your eyebrows and eyelashes freeze less than usual when you were outside? It’s not just an impression. Despite two short cold spells, this meteorological winter was 3.2°C milder than normal.

Despite an impressive and rare -29°C recorded at the beginning of February, this winter 2022-2023 will have been, overall, the 3rd mildest winter – tied – since the start of data compilation at Dorval airport.

Data from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) says so. Since records began in 1941 at Dorval Airport, only two winters have been milder: the winters of 2001-2002 (+4.3°C) and 2015-2016 (+3.6°C). Winter 2016-2017 was just as mild as the one we just experienced.

A trend?

It should be noted that of the five mildest winters in the Montreal surveys, four were recorded after the year 2000. Quebec meteorologist for ECCC Jean-Philippe Bégin.

Winter 2021-2022 was on the contrary very cold and Mr. Bégin believes that Quebec will experience many more cold winters. “You can't draw conclusions so quickly,” he explains. “The winters follow each other but are not alike”, he adds.

Mild winters affect the pack ice of lakes, rivers and the estuary of Quebec, which has repercussions on marine biodiversity in addition to accelerating erosion. Winter activities such as outdoor skating are also complicated by mild winter weather.

Mass snow

Montreal also received significant amounts of snow this winter. While the metropolis is used to accumulating 140 cm of snowfall, snowfall has reached a cumulative total of 200 cm this season. Note that these 200 cm only count what fell between December 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023. Snowfall since March 1 is therefore not yet counted.

Despite this significant amount snowflakes, winter 2022-2023 is not able to break through and enter the top 5 winters with the most snowfall.

Montreal launched four snow loading operations this winter. The snow season is not over, but if there is no new snowfall, the metropolis will have done one loading operation less than on average.

This could indicate rainfall that is more spread over time, rather than a few storms, or conversely concentrated intensely over a period. A quarter of the snow received this winter fell during the last week of January.

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