The month of March, up until Easter Sunday, has been pretty much average according to Ormstown weatherman Peter Finlayson. The average temperature hovered around -0.6°C, the normal being -1.9°C. The total accumulation of precipitation was 31 mm of rain and 18 cm of snow, which is equivalent to about 1.5" of moisture. However, wet weather at the beginning of this week, along with cold overnight lows predicted for later in the week will shift the monthly statistics yet again. Signs of spring abound, however, with the ducks returning to the ponds and seagulls picking worms and grubs out of the corn fields. Where do the seagulls go for winter anyways?
So far the average temperature for March is -0.5°C whereas the normal average is -1.9°C, so we are slightly above average (but that may change with the colder temperatures this week). We received 3 cm of snow and 21 mm of rain bringing the month's total to 5 cm snow and 30 mm of rain, which is slightly below normal. Spring arrived on the 20th and kicked it off at -8°C in the early morning; a nippy start to the season.
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As anticipated the month of March warmed up somewhat from the brisk start at the beginning. Ormstown weatherman Peter Finlayson reports that the average temperature for the first 12 days of the month was -2.6°C, just slightly below the 10-year average of -1.9°C. It's been on the dry side with only 10 mm of rain and 2 cm of snow. The snow has gone from all the fields and since the ground wasn't frozen very deep the surface water has mostly all been removed by the tile drainage. The ice on the Chateauguay River went out on March 11th, with the first sighting of geese on March 8th. The geese seem to know pretty much what's going on with the weather as they show up just before the ice is breaking up. But not always - they blew it in 2013:
Year Ice break up Arrival of geese
2016 March 11 March 8 *No snow on the ground
2015 April 6 March 28
2014 April 10 March 29
2013 April 29 April 9
2012 March 12 March 3 *No snow on the ground
2011 March 18 March 14
50 years ago April 8 No records (there weren't many geese then)
It's a short weather report this week as we're only a few days into the month of March, but quite a contrast from February. Peter Finlayson, Ormstown weatherman, says that the average temperature for the first 5 days of March was -10.7°C - yes, you read it right! Of course, with 26 more days to go, the temperature will undoubtedly get closer to the average of -1.9°C. A little rain at 4 mm and a little snow at 2 cm made for a fairly light week with regards to precipitation. Forecast is for a warm spring, which you can read more about at CBC.
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February ended up being a little on the warmer side with an average temperature of -6.5°C; this compares with a frigid 2014 which was -15.8°C and the ten-year average of -7.1°C. There was 120 mm of precipitation for the month (82 mm rain, 42 cm snow) which is about 50% higher than normal - the amount of rain in February was the same as we get in July! Finally, Monday night was special with several flashes of sheet lightning alluminating up the Chateauguay Valley skies, an unusual sight for this time of year.