Windy win­ter fi­nally over

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

With eight foot high snow­banks still stand­ing along some of our coun­try roads, it’s hard to be­lieve that win­ter of­fi­cially ended six days ago, on March 20th.

Ac­cord­ing to En­vi­ron­ment Canada me­te­o­rol­o­gist, An­dré Cantin, up un­til now, snow­fall in the Sher­brooke re­gion is ac­tu­ally be­low nor­mal, to­tal­ing 237 cen­time­ters when the aver­age snow­fall for win­ter is 294 cen­time­ters. “The main rea­son we have such a sig­nif­i­cant amount of snow on the ground is be­cause of the cold weather. There was less melt­ing of the snow; it re­mained on the ground,” ex­plained Mr. Cantin. “To­day (Mon­day) we have 68 cen­time­ters of snow on the ground at Sher­brooke, when the aver­age snow on the ground for this date is 28 cen­time­ters,” he added.

Aver­age tem­per­a­tures were be­low nor­mal for the win­ter, but less so in Sher­brooke than in other re­gions of the prov­ince. Sher­brooke’s aver­age tem­per­a­ture was only .8 de­grees be­low nor­mal while Mon­treal was 1.3 de­grees be­low nor­mal, Que­bec City and Ot­tawa 2.3 de­grees be­low nor­mal, and 3.4 de­grees be­low nor­mal in La Tuque. “Those num­bers may not seem big but they are sig­nif­i­cant. We usu­ally ex­pect only a fluc­tu­a­tion of .5 de­grees be­low or above the aver­age tem­per­a­ture. A low pres­sure sys­tem, the po­lar vor­tex, sat over north­ern Que­bec most of the win­ter, caus­ing north winds to come down di­rectly from the North Pole into On­tario, Que­bec and the East Coast. Nor­mally that po­lar vor­tex is more north, but it’s not sta­ble,” said Mr. Cantin. When it was men­tioned by this news­pa­per that we in the Sher­brooke area shouldn’t be com­plain­ing so much about the win­ter, given the num­bers, Mr. Cantin replied: “Well, you are the ones who got hit with that ice storm on De­cem­ber 21st.”

Not only did the win­ter seem colder be­cause of the lower than aver­age tem­per­a­tures, it was also a very windy win­ter. “When we look at tem­per­a­tures, we don’t in­clude the wind chill fac­tor. The winds were well above nor­mal this win­ter, mak­ing a -6 de­gree day feel like -20. But it fi­nally looks like this weather sys­tem will weaken in the next five to ten days. We should have nor­mal tem­per­a­tures for the weekend,” he con­cluded.

There is still a huge amount of snow around be­cause it has been ac­cu­mu­lat­ing all win­ter, never get­ting the chance to melt.

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