Monday, 31 March 2014

A March and Winter for The Record Books

     At 7°C colder than normal, this past March was almost as extreme as March Madness 2012's 8°C warmer than normal. What a difference 2 years can make... This past March was also the coldest since 1996.

     What a winter this has been! This December to March period averaged -18.4°C, tying with the winter of 1898-1899 for 11th coldest, making it the coldest December to March period in 115 years. One must go back 121 years to the winter of 1892-1893 to find a December to March period that has been colder than this one...

     In total, from December to March, there were 90 days below -20°C, tying for 6th most and the most in 121 years (see the following table for the top 7)! Normal is 51 days (1981-2010 normal).

Table: Top 7 most -20°C days from December to March, since 1872

# of days ≤ -20°C Dec to Mar
100 days
95 days
93 days
91 days
1886/1887 & 1892/1893
90 days
1875/1876 & 2013/2014

     If we include November into the equation (to be more representative of an entire winter), this November to March period averaged -15.9°C, 13th coldest and coldest since the winter of 1978-1979.

     Snowdepth in Winnipeg sat at 43 cm yesterday, the 4th deepest snow pack to finish March since 1941. Tragically, normal is just a measly 5 cm (1981-2010 normal). Interestingly, this is the second consecutive March without any rain. Prior to this, the last time no rain fell in March was 1956!

     This past March also featured the 2nd coldest March day on record on March 1 with a mean temperature of -31.5°C. The low of -37.0°C was just shy of the all-time March low of -38.9°C in 1873 and 1880 and 9th coldest low in March since 1872. The high of -26.0°C obliterated the old record low maximum for the day of -22.2°C in 1972, and was the 2nd coldest daytime high in March since 1872.

     Here's hoping for some above normal temperatures soon!