Hello, everyone! Welcome to the second installment of The Weather with Connor. We’ve got a few things to recap in this weeks column, plus a few things to talk about for the future in the month of February.
The region did see a few minor snow events in the last couple weeks, as well as a couple bigger storms. It has been quite active, as the month of January brought Eastern Ontario snow totals that were well above the normal for that month. The normal is about 60cm, the region saw upwards of 90cm.
The first minor snow event was on Sunday, January 22 when we got grazed by the northern tip of a snowstorm in the US Northeast. This grazing brought just a few centimeters across the region, and was only a minor inconvenience. Roads were slightly messy, but the most annoying part from this one was having to clean your car off.
The next minor event was actually the next day, on Monday, January 23. This one was just a quick, although heavy, snow squall that happened right at the time of the morning commute. It didn’t make the commute all that treacherous or anything, just a quick bout of heavy snow followed by flurries. It dropped less than 3cm across the entire region.
Then came one of the biggest snowstorms of this winter season so far. The January 25/26 storm packed a punch, with strong winds up to 70km/h, and very strong snowfall. Winchester itself, which I measured, saw 6cm in a single hour on the evening of Wednesday the 25th. There were also many reports of thundersnow (a thunderstorm but with snow) around the Chesterville, Finch, and Berwick areas. I ended this storm on Thursday the 26th with a measurement of 25cm in Winchester.
The next minor event came on Saturday, January 28, when some heavy snow squalls moved through parts of the region that morning. Some of them were strong enough to create near zero visibility while driving, which I would know considering I drove in one of them on the 417 just past Stittsville. I couldn’t even see where the lines for the road were. These squalls dropped a quick 2-4cm in places that saw them, but they were scattered, so many people didn’t even realize the squalls happened at all.
Then comes Sunday, January 29. This one was a bit of a surprise for a lot of people. Due to the cold temperatures on this day (it was around -10 during peak snowfall), the snow accumulated faster. When I did my forecast, I mentioned I was very confident in 10-20cm. The entire region lived up to that, including some unconfirmed reports of nearly 30cm along the Seaway. Winchester got 14.7cm, and the Ottawa Airport reported 18.6cm.
Instead of snow, now we get to talk about some absolutely frigid temperatures. Albeit short, the Polar Vortex showed itself for the first time this winter from the evening of February 2 until the afternoon of February 4. These temperatures brought the first Extreme Cold Warning of the season from Environment Canada. The temperature on the morning of Friday, February 3, was around -30, with the windchill close (if not below in some areas) to -40. The daytime high that Friday didn’t get much better, with the high coming in around -23, and the windchill in the mid -30’s.
Overnight Friday the 3rd and into the morning of Saturday, February 4, the temperature across the region was anywhere from -29 to -35 (without the windchill). With the windchill, it was anywhere from -37 to -43. Absolutely bone chilling.
As I type this, there are a couple minor snow/rain events on the way for the week of February 6 through the 10th. Both of these will be in the recap of my next column, as they will have already happened when this gets published, but right now it looks like 3-6cm of wet snow is possible on Monday, February 6, with localized areas of 7-12cm. There will be rain involved with this one, as the temperature will be above 0.
The next system will be happening right as this gets published on February 9. This storm is completely up in the air, it could be a bunch of wet snow or a bunch of rain with temperatures around 7 degrees.
In general, aside from the first couple days of the month, February looks well above normal temperature wise, and less active snow wise than January was. There will be more snow melt this month, that’s for sure.
That will be it for this week’s installment of The Weather with Connor. Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks!