Canada's top ten weather stories of 2013
- 2013 - A Year in Review
- 1. Alberta's Flood of Floods
- 2. Toronto's Torrent
- 3. Bumper Crops in the West, So-So for the Rest
- 4. The Nightmare during Christmas
- 5. To Flood or Not to Flood?
- 6. Rebound in the Arctic Ocean and the Great Lakes
- 7. Wicked Winter Weather Wallops the East
- 8. Spring Flooding in Ontario’s Cottage Country
- 9. Prairie Winter Went on Forever
- 10. Stormy Seas and Maritime Tragedy
- Runner-up Stories
- Atlantic Regional Highlights
- Quebec - Regional Highlights
- Ontario - Regional Highlights
- Prairie Provinces - Regional Highlights
- British Columbia - Regional Highlights
- The North - Regional Highlights
Quebec - Regional Highlights
- Montréal’s Storm of the Century
- January Deep Freeze and Power Surge
- High Winds Postpone Rescue Efforts
- Snow on First Day of Spring
- Early Season Heat Wave
- Quebec’s First Tornado and Last Snowfall
- Stormy Weather
- Storm with Everything
- Flooding Rainfalls
- First snows are heavy
- Witches of November
1. Montréal’s Storm of the Century
Montréal received nearly 250 cm of snow during winter 2012-13, which is about 20 per cent more than normal. The snowy year got off to a huge start on December 27, 2012 when a record 45.6 cm of snow fell on the city – the snowiest day every at Trudeau International Airport. Quite possibly over 50 cm fell in one day in the city’s south shore suburbs. While the clean-up took close to six days, city crews and residents mobilized a miraculous next-day effort that cleared everything but towering snowbanks. The entire snow removal process cost $25 million or 20 per cent of the city’s annual snow budget.
2. January Deep Freeze and Power Surge
A deep lasting chill settled in over much of Quebec on January 20, with temperatures dipping as low as -40°C. The lowest wind chills were -51 at Lac-Saint-Jean/Normandin and Lac Wageguma and -49 at Matagami. Power consumption hit a historic peak during the deep freeze, with Hydro-Québec asking the public to conserve energy and doing its own part by shutting off the lights powering its iconic Q logo at its headquarters in Montréal. The frigid spell led to countless school closures, bursting water pipes and the opening of extra bunks at homeless shelters. The intensely deep cold spell was deemed rare occurring only once in 35 years.
3.High Winds Postpone Rescue Efforts
At the end of January, high winds close to 100 km/h blacked out 100,000 electricity customers, blew vehicles over on Highway 40 and closed the highway between Joliette and Mascouche. They also postponed rescue efforts at the L'Épiphanie quarry where two missing truck drivers were buried during a series of landslides on January 29.
4. Snow on First Day of Spring
During the week of March 19-23, a snowstorm dumped 20 to 35 cm over southern Quebec. Following the late winter blast, strong northwesterly winds over open water generated snow squalls that left more than 50 cm of “sea-snow” over parts of the north shore of the Gaspé Peninsula.
5. Early Season Heat Wave
At the end of April and in early May, temperatures over the southern third of Quebec were exceptionally warm, peaking at 29.8°C on May 6 at La Tuque – some 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal. The early onset of warmth rapidly accelerated the snowmelt in regions further north. The heat also hastened field drying, enabling farmers to begin seeding earlier than usual and raising the forest fire threat.
6. Quebec’s First Tornado and Last Snowfall
A line of severe thunderstorms swept through southwestern Quebec on June 1, bringing heavy rains and triggering floods south of Lac-Kénogami and near La Baie. The rain also washed out portions of a key highway connecting the province's Charlevoix and Saguenay regions. High winds also hit with gusts near 100 km/h causing power outages and the season’s first tornado (EF-0) landing at Saint-Hugues in the Montérégie region, where it ripped off garage doors and tore away pieces of roof tops. Just days prior to the storm, a stationary low over New England had dropped anywhere from 60 to 150 mm of rain across the Eastern Townships, the Beauce, Québec City and Chaudière-Appalaches. Water levels rose rapidly, causing local flooding and landslides that led to the evacuation of residents and campers, and the closure of several roads. Shockingly, one station in the Beauce reported 19 cm of snow, which – according to one expert – is the greatest amount of late snowfall over southern Quebec, since 1967.
7. Stormy Weather
On July 11, a passing cold front produced heavy thunderstorms that deposited 50 mm of torrential rain over a two-hour period in the Laurentians and Eastern Townships. The storms also produced hail and damaging wind gusts that hurt crops in the Laurentians and around the Drummondville area. Experts also confirmed an EF-0 tornado at Saint-Marc-des-Carrières between Trois-Rivières and Québec City.
8. Storm with Everything
On August 13, severe thunderstorms flash-flooded several streets and basements in Laval, Montréal and St-Jérôme, prompting the closing of several roads and highways. Around 10:30 p.m., a weak tornado hit an auto dealership in Sherbrooke infliciting roof damage and breaking several windows. The weather system also brought significant rains to central and eastern Quebec, including 87 mm of rain between Sept-Îles and Mingan.
9. Flooding Rainfalls
On September 11, a warm, moist air mass with embedded thunderstorms brought heavy rains to Suroît, the southern Eastern Townships and the Beauce. Saint-Anicet and Lacolle received the most rain with 80 mm in less than five hours causing widespread basement flooding. Powerful winds also hit, uprooting several trees, and hailstones up to 3 cm in diameter pounded crops and property in Saint-Anicet and Hemmingford. Humidex values in the air mass reached 42 – incredibly high for so late in the year.
10. First snows are heavy
An intense low-pressure system that stalled over the Labrador Sea produced high winds over the Saguenay/Lac-Saint-Jean area, the northern Laurentians and eastern Quebec with peak gusts reaching above 90 km/h in some places. Snow squalls also hit dumping heavy first-of-the-season snowfalls between November 23 and 25 of between 17 and 36 cm that reduced visibility to zero at times in the northern Matapédia Valley, inland areas of Rimouski, northern Gaspésie Park and Blanc-Sablon.
11. Witches of November
Powerful southwesterly winds wreaked havoc across southern Ontario and Quebec’s St. Lawrence Valley on the first days of November knocking down trees and downing power lines. Fierce wind gusts attained speeds of 100 km/h in Montréal, 109 km/h at Saint-Hubert and over 110 km/h at Cap-Chat. Nearly 350,000 customers were left without power at times, including tens of thousands in Montréal and Laval, and in the Lanaudière and Outaouais regions. Just north of Montréal, winds littered a shopping centre with crushed scaffolding and severed a gas line. Several regions also received up to 60 mm of rain.
- Date modified: