Published on January 19, 2024 at 10:41 p.m.
January is snowy this year. February could be worse. Explanations.
Action in January
There have been actions in Quebec since the beginning of January. After a mild month of December, winter has shown its teeth at the beginning of 2024. Can February actually be any worse when it comes to snowstorms? This appears to be the case, even if the expected volumes are similar on average over the two months.
“Between January and February there is little difference in the amount of snow that falls in each of these two months,” explains meteorologist Réjean Ouimet. These totals must take into account the number of days in each of the two months. On a daily basis, the value in Montreal is decreasing by 1.64 cm per day in January, compared to 1.72 in February. »
The atmospheric context can also favor greater snow availability in February. Since the pressure exerted by the descent of Arctic air over Quebec tends to decrease after the month of January, the trajectory taken by the systems tends to increase northward. Thus, the province is in a normally more active corridor.
“It happens that more snow falls in February than in January,” explains Réjean Ouimet. In Montreal, this has happened 36 times since 1942. And if January is snowier than usual, February may be snowier. 15 times in 36 cases. »
January shows the way
For 25 years, Réjean Ouimet has recorded 118 snowstorms in Quebec in January. In February the total number rises to 121. Let us also remember that this month is the shortest of the year. To return to that famous original question: The answer is yes: February can be worse than January in this respect. In Montreal it's about every other year. In the case of Quebec, this figure rises to 59 percent.
“Let’s give January back some of the leadership that belongs to him,” explains Réjean Ouimet. January, which is characterized by a lot of snow, has occurred 45 times in the last 82 years. February followed suit and was also snowier than normal half of the time. »
In collaboration with meteorologists Réjean Ouimet and Nicolas Lessard.