A winter split
January 2024 ended with December 2023 ensuring a certain continuity. By combining average temperatures for a 60-day period, the overall results confirm the five mildest winters in history. Positive anomalies for January range from 3 to 5 degrees depending on the region in Quebec. If this trend continues, the winter will be one of the warmest on record, even if February turns out to be the third coldest month, or if temperatures are closer to normal. According to forecasters, the first two weeks will still be milder than normal temperatures. Then, it is difficult to compensate for cold lag. Note that Montreal has not recorded a minimum below the -20°C threshold this season.
“The winter since December 1 was the 2nd mildest in Val-d'Or, the 3rd in the Gaspé and the 4th in Montreal,” says meteorologist Rejean Ouimet. Each of Metropolis' previous winters (2002, 2016 and 2023) had mild winters in late February.
It's not mountains of snow that fall in Quebec in January. In terms of rainfall, the month took place in three phases. There was a dry start before the snow returned with a total of five snowfalls, which is normal for the month. Then, the province ran out of fuel at the end of January. Overall, a good average was respected in most sectors of the province.
“We ended the month with average snowfall in most areas,” explains Réjean Ouimet. For the season as a whole, January accumulations of 50 to 100 cm depending on the region were insufficient to catch up to normal. »
The lack of snow on the ground can be explained by the fact that mild weather has dominated since the beginning of winter in Quebec. Snow is in short supply, especially in Montérégie and Estrie. However, snowfall was observed in most areas. In addition, rain does not play a significant role in January.
“Unlike December, it doesn't rain in January,” explains Réjean Ouimet. Many regions did not receive a single drop. It does not increase the water load of snow on the ground. Roofs and gutters will be better if this trend continues. Nine days of freezing rain fell. Despite the fears associated with a winter El Niño, nothing major has happened. »
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