Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring warmth and 1993

Today in Montreal the weather is in stark contrast to that of 1993. We are currently at 5C here on Ile Perrot with a warm front to our west along with some showers and even a rumble of thunder about to move across the city. We just missed a record yesterday, reaching 13C, 2 degrees shy of the 1977 record. Burlington, Vermont broke another record reaching 63F. This warm spell is not over, we will challenge the record high today with a forecast 12C (54F) and the record 12.2C set in 1946. Montreal has watched the snow pack dwindle to just a few dirty piles in a matter of days. There is even some flowers beginning to push through the newly thawed earth. The warm weather is forecast to continue right into next week with no cold air in sight. A little rain today will give way to partial sunshine for Wednesday. The weekend at this time looks glorious with sunny skies and highs around 16C. There is some winter weather around with snow and freezing rain forecast today in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with perhaps some freezing rain from Quebec City north and east.

An unbelievable storm on radar stretching from Quebec to Cuba on March 13.
 On this day in 1993 a wicked storm known as the March 1993 Super Storm raced up the east coast producing tornadoes, storm surge flooding and heavy rain and snow. The storm left behind damage, death and destruction from Cuba to Atlantic Canada. Montreal was hammered in a 12 hour period receiving between 38 and 45cm of snow in a very short period of time. The storm was accompanied by strong winds and blizzard conditions with biting cold for March. A new record low was set during the storm of -19.3C and again the next morning at -23C.
The aftermath of the storm in Montreal.
The snow closed down highways across New England and even closed the bridges in Montreal for a few hours. Visibility dropped to below 1km for over 12 hours including a 4 hour stretch overnight into Sunday morning with zero visibility at Dorval. A low barometric pressure of 974mb was observed in Montreal during the storm. I do have video as I mentioned yesterday and promise to track it down soon and post it. On Sunday March 14, 1993 the Montreal Gazette could not be delivered by our fleet of trucks to the stores or paper carriers. I worked for them for over 10 years and it was the only morning in my career there that we could not get the papers out. My truck was buried in snow up to the roof on the front of the vehicle parked into the wind. It was an amazing storm.

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