Muskoka To-DAILY

When will this snow end? Try Thursday to Sunday – then cool again

MUSKOKA  — With more snow falling Monday heading into the second week of April, reports show Muskoka received a third more snow in March than normal.

According to Geoff Coulson, warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment Canada, the district total last month was 62.4 cms (the most since 2008).

A normal third month of the year it would be 38.8 cms.

And temperatures were way down, at -8.5 celsius, compared to -3.4.

He said this was the coldest March on record at the MuskokaAirport site with records going back to 1938.

You have to go all the way back to 1960 when it was this cold in March, -8.2 C.

Snowfall-wise, the airport recorded 64.2 cm of snow, with a long-term mean March snowfall of 40.6 cm.

This was the snowiest March since March of 2008 where 84 cm fell.

And while real, long-lasting spring weather is still some time away, Coulson said, “we do have a stretch of somewhat milder than seasonal weather in the forecast for this Thursday through to Sunday, where daytime highs will climb to 10 to 12 deg C — which is milder than our normal high of 9.”

However, though, he said it looks like somewhat cooler than seasonal weather will return after that.

 March report:        

Coulson says when looking back at the temperatures for last month, there were no exceptions: it was either significantly colder than normal or there was even record-breaking cold. No parts of Ontario were spared from Mother Nature’s cold embrace, he said in his monthly report below.

Differences between the mean temperatures and the 1971-2000 normal values ranged downward from 3 to 6.5 degrees Celsius. In many locales, March temperatures broke records for coldness that date back to the 1980s or even the 1960s.

To accompany these exceptionally cold temperatures, there were also significant snowfall totals for the month. Many locations in northern Ontario received more than double the normal amount to be expected. Due to the lack of rainfall, which represents a fifth to three-quarters of the total precipitation for a typical March, most southern Ontario locations ended up with conditions that were drier than normal.

Snowfall totals for the winter of 2013-2014 will be included in April’s edition of the Ontario Weather Review.  

Severe Weather:

The people in Southern Ontario who managed to get away to warmer climates during March break were fortunate enough to miss a storm system that dumped significant snow on areas near the lower Great Lakes on March 12. The system gathered strength in Missouri during the evening hours of March 11 and then intensified and moved south of the lower Great Lakes the next day. Areas from Windsor to Cornwall recorded snowfall in the 15- to 25-centimetre range. The highest amounts were in the Thorold area, south of St. Catharines, and in the Cornwall area, where close to 30 centimetres fell. The storm was notable not only for the amounts of snow it left in its wake, but also for cold, gusty winds from the north which caused widespread poor visibilities in blowing snow.

A second notable storm system on March 22 followed a similar track to the one on March 12. This system gathered strength in the American Midwest on March 21 and then intensified as it moved into Ohio the next morning. By that evening, the system had moved quickly eastwards to lie over the U.S. eastern seaboard.

The biggest snowfalls from this system occurred somewhat further north than the system on March 12. Areas from east of Lake Huron through SimcoeCounty towards the Ottawa area received the largest amounts, ranging between 10 and 20 centimetres.

The Orillia area received the highest reported amount, of 23 centimetres.

Further south, from Sarnia through the Toronto area and east to Kingston, snowfall amounts were significantly lower as the snow mixed or changed into a messy combination of freezing rain, ice pellets and rain. At the peak of the storm, some areas had snowfall rates of 3 to 5 centimetres per hour.

While March ended like a lamb in southern and northeastern Ontario, that was definitely not the case in northwestern Ontario and north of Lake Superior, where the month ended like a lion.

On the morning of March 31, a huge storm system was centred in Nebraska and beginning to move northeast. By the evening hours that day, the storm centre was over eastern Minnesota, and snow and some freezing rain had been falling in parts of northwestern Ontario for hours. During that day, a particularly intense band of snow had remained almost stationary over the Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Armstrong and PickleLake region. This intense band dumped up to 45-50 centimetres of snow on this area. For March 31, Sioux Lookout recorded approximately 47 centimetres, setting a record for a single-day snowfall at this location.

The previous mark was 40.6 centimetres on November 16, 1941.

 Record low mean temperature readings (in °C), ranked by variation from normal:
Location Mean temp Normal Difference Previous record
Sault Ste. Marie -10.9 -4.4 -6.5 -8.2 (1972)
Timmins -14.0 -7.7 -6.3 -13.7 (1960)
Geraldton -15.3 -9.0 -6.3 -14.0 (1989)
Chapleau -13.4 -7.2 -6.2 -11.6 (1984)
Earlton -12.5 -6.9 -5.6 -12.2 (1939)
North Bay -10.4 -4.8 -5.6 -9.6 (1960)
Sudbury -10.6 -5.3 -5.3 -10.4 (1960)
Kitchener/Waterloo -6.4 -1.2 -5.2 -5.3 (1984 & 1978)
Muskoka -8.5 -3.4 -5.1 -8.2 (1960)
Peterborough -7.0 -2.0 -5.0 -6.6 (1984)
Ottawa -7.3 -2.5 -4.8 (tied) (1940)
Wawa -11.4 -6.6 -4.8 -10.2 (1989 & 1960)
Sarnia -4.1 0.7 -4.8 -3.9 (1978)
Unusual mean temperature readings (in °C), ranked by variation from normal:
Location Mean temp Normal Difference Coldest since
Sioux Lookout -12.7 -7.0 -5.7 1965
Kenora -11.1 -5.6 -5.5 1965
RedLake -13.1 -7.7 -5.4 2002
Kapuskasing -13.7 -8.6 -5.1 1960
London -5.4 -0.3 -5.1 1960
Thunder Bay -10.5 -5.5 -5.0 1955 & 1943
Wiarton -7.1 -2.2 -4.9 1960
Dryden -11.0 -6.1 -4.9 2002
Moosonee -16.5 -11.7 -4.8 1978
Hamilton -5.0 -0.3 -4.7 1960
Windsor -2.6 2.0 -4.6 1960
Kingston -5.4 -0.8 -4.6 1984
Trenton -5.3 -1.0 -4.3 1984
TorontoCity -2.8 1.3 -4.1 1960
Toronto Pearson -4.3 -0.4 -3.9 1984
PickleLake -13.6 -10.0 -3.6 2002
Petawawa -7.5 -4.3 -3.2 1992
Unusual snowfall readings (in cm), ranked by variation from normal:
Location Snowfall Normal Difference Most since
Sioux Lookout 81.9 28.3 53.6 1988
North Bay 82.6 38.0 44.6 1985
Sault Ste. Marie 74.5 34.8 39.7 2002
Geraldton 57.2 27.7 29.5 1997
Kenora 48.0 22.3 25.7 2004
Muskoka 64.2 38.8 25.4 2008
Sudbury 60.0 38.9 21.1 2002
Windsor 36.4 20.6 15.8 2008



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