Climate Comment for March 2021: Another Warm Month

Submitted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne

Last winter on Big Tub Harbour was consistently warmer than historical temperatures. November was 2.6C higher, December 2.5C up, January 3.7C up, February 1.0C up and March matched January at 3.7C over the norm. March’s lowest temperature was -12.2 on the 2nd and the highest was 17.8C on the 23rd. It was even warmer down the Peninsula – my car showed 20C on Highway 6 around Ferndale.

This was typical for most on Ontario. Nearly every community was warmer than usual and in the northwest Kenora was nearly 5C above normal. Single day temperature records were set across the Province on the 11th with Environment Canada stating it was more like May than March.

It was also a relatively dry month – in fact we had no precipitation at all from the 1st to the 16th, just copious sunshine – the sunniest March I have recorded. On the 17th we got a snow/rain mix amounting to just 2 mm. It wasn’t until the last week we really got wet with most falling on the 26th and 28th. The month as a whole reached 39 mm against a long-term average of 57 mm. This too was typical for the Province – Sudbury, for example, only got 43 mm against their usual 60 mm.

We did get some pretty good wind, the anemometer hitting 80 km/hr on the first as an Arctic cold front blew in, causing havoc to the south of us. As is often the case with high winds from the northwest, the wind blew right over us to create lake-effect snow landing in places like Barrie where there was a serious multi-vehicle pile up on Highway 400 due to poor visibility. We lived a charmed life on the 26th, too, when areas around Lake Erie got winds as high as 114 km/hr accompanied by 40-50 mm of rain. 

April has started out quite cool but, again, sunny. Spring is definitely here though as usual it will probably be a bit intermittent for a week or two yet. 

To all my readers, please mask up, keep your distance and stay safe. The light of summer is visible at the end of the pandemic tunnel.