January 2023 Summary with a bit of February
January was officially a wet month, having received 45 millimetres of rain and freezing rain (remember that week?) and 83 centimetres of snow, which melted down to 82 mm of water for a total of 127 mm of precipitation. That’s 5.1 inches, for those still on imperial measure – 50 per cent above normal. Given that 2022 was a record year in the last 56 years for precipitation, the trend continues.
And it was also warm. Even though the average temperature slowly dropped as the month progressed, it was still not enough to get even close to the January normal of -8.6 degrees Celsius. The average temperature for the month was -4.2 C, making it the fifth warmest over the last 57 years. The warmest January in the last 57 years was 1990, with an average temperature of -3.0 C, and the coldest was 1994 at -16.8 C.
One of the trends that seems to be occurring more frequently, and likely a factor contributing to overall warmer average temperature, is the fact that night-time temperatures are not as low as they used to be, and January 2023 was a good example. During the last month, 10 of the nights experienced a night-time low that was warmer than the average daytime high. Even in cold weather, the nights are staying “warmer” than they have in the past.
A quick peek at February shows it has started off the complete opposite to January, with frigid temperatures from the onset. The average temperature for the first few days was -17.0 C, while the normal average temperature is -8.0 C. The Environment Canada weather station in Saint-Anicet recorded lows of -30.8 and -30.1 C on February 1 and 4 respectively, setting records for low temperature on three of those four days.
There was just a smattering of snow on those days, although it might have seemed a lot more with all the drifting snow that resulted from the high winds combined with the sudden appearance of snow banks along many roadsides. Despite the extreme, the snowmobilers appear to be quite happy out on the trails.