Cold weather in March a major irreversible trend

Cold weather in March: a major irreversible trend?

Published March 2, 2024 at 12:28 am.

A well-oiled machine is likely to continue its work. Forecast.

Gentle diet

The cold barely reached Quebec this winter. That's relative, of course, since it wasn't hot. The air landings in the Arctic had limited impact and were short-lived. This trend appears to be continuing in March, at least for the first few weeks. The prevailing atmospheric context should have temperatures largely above seasonal values. Note that starting March 6, the average maximum will rise above freezing in the south of the province.

“The Redoux mold is still working very well,” says meteorologist Réjean Ouimet. The descent of cold air will move towards the west of the continent for part of March. The direction of the prevailing wind currents will continue to favor an increase in heat towards Quebec in the coming weeks. As heat began to build in the more southern latitudes. Any rise in air towards Quebec can still bring us surprises. So we don't yet know exactly what the weather will be like in April in winter. Remember this is heading towards Spring on March 19th. »


Paradigm shift

Winter may not have had its last word when it comes to the cold. However, a regime change towards the end of the month would have more mixed effects. The intensity and duration of this reversal of the situation remains to be determined.

“We still see opportunities to reverse the situation in the regions further north,” continues Réjean Ouimet. This happens in the upper atmosphere. In fact, we see a heat surge at the level of the stratosphere, more than 10 km above the Earth's surface. It would be the 3rd of winter. Probably the last of the season before next winter. The consequences were rather limited, if not non-existent. »


March in two stages

Between the first and second half of March, the seasonal average in southern Quebec rises by 4°C. The sun's rays warm the atmosphere more. However, the scenario that is emerging this year poses the risk that the cold will return. Consequently, expected mildness in the first twenty days of the month should contrast with below-average temperatures in late March (and possibly even early April).

“It is possible that the stars align in the last third of the month to bring arctic air to our regions,” says Réjean Ouimet. Unusual cold until the end of March and an extension into April are possible. In this case, the temperatures can hardly be described as freezing: the sun at the end of March benefits us. And the chances of that happening this year are slim either way.


In collaboration with meteorologists Patrick Duplessis and Réjean Ouimet.

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