February cold in Montreal breaks 115-year-old record
If over the course of the past month, you’ve remarked that February seemed to be “SO MUCH COLDER” this year than in years past, you now have science backing you up.
Environment Canada has confirmed this February was the coldest February in more than 100 years. The average temperature in Montreal last month was -15C. The previous record was set in 1979, when the average temps were a balmy -14.5C.
Winter 2014-2015 started out with promise, with mild temperatures in December. But starting in January, things started taking a turn for the worse, with “slightly below normal” temperatures, defined as two to four degrees below normal.
And then the real fun began: between Feb. 1 and 26, we were subjected to temperatures five to nine degrees lower than normal, thanks to “the icy grip of Arctic air over Quebec,” according to a news release.
The last time it was that cold in February was in 1889, and even that isn’t certain, as Environment Canada points out that data from that year is less reliable. To put that in perspective, in 1889 Sir John A MacDonald was the Prime Minister, Queen Victoria our head of state, and the Montreal Canadiens hadn’t yet been founded.
It is the shortest month, but it made its presence felt – the Arctic air brought with it teeth-chattering, pipes-bursting, car-not-starting cold. Environment Canada said Quebec City had 19 days below -20C, while it usually has nine. Montreal had 12, while the norm is five. And the Saguenay had nine days under -30C (emphasis theirs, likely to underscore how ridiculous that figure is), while the norm is close to two.
Mercifully, over the same period most of the regions of Quebec received at least 25 per cent less precipitation. Of course, the exception to that statistic is the eastern part of the Gaspe and the Lower North Shore, regions walloped by the same weather systems that brought impressive amounts of snow to the Maritimes.
But cheer up, everyone: temperatures are expected to reach more bearable highs in March, with single-digit figures in the forecast for most days this week.
Bye bye February. Hello warmer March! ☺️☺️☺️☺️. Enjoy the day High of -4.— Lise McAuley (@LmcauleyCTV) March 1, 2015