Avalanche of cold across the province

January temperatures continue to chill the province and set records as the month lines up to become the coldest in 18 years in the Montreal area.

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“We really have an arctic cold that has set in and hasn’t let up since the second week of January. It’s a winter that started late, but should end early too,” explains Patrick Duplessis, meteorologist at Météomédia.

It hadn’t been so cold for a long time. The South Shore of Montreal had not experienced such a morning since 1994 and smashed a mark for January 22.

But it is really Quebec that holds the most impressive record, when the mercury reached -36.7°C, equaling the coldest temperature ever recorded – in 2015 – since records began in 1943.

And other municipalities also experienced exceptionally chilly days or broke records for January 22.

The coldest month

In general, the month of January should be 4 to 5 degrees below normal, so it would be the coldest since 2004 in Montreal. The smog, caused by the intense cold, should dissipate today as a few days of respite are announced.

We must still expect a “last big push of cold” from Wednesday, everywhere in the province, before a softening for the next few weeks, said the meteorologist.

“From the second week of February, we should be above normal temperatures,” reassures Mr. Duplessis.

The cold spell of the last few days also led to a record electricity consumption, while Hydro-Québec recorded a historic total of 39,420 Megawatts for a weekend day on Saturday.

The day before, the province used no less than 40,380 megawatts.

“It’s quite surprising, such high consumption,” commented Jonathan Côté, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec.

The combination of intense cold and teleworking, even on Saturdays, due to confinement, increases the demand for energy, he explains.

Brave the cold with a smile

Despite everything, this did not prevent citizens from braving the cold to enjoy the sun in Montreal.

At the foot of Mount Royal, Marie-Andrée Camirand and her two friends were about to begin a cross-country ski excursion, their daily encounter.

” It does not change anything. We dress warmer. We want to make the most of it. The cold should not prevent people from going out! »

bikes in the snow

Late morning, Saturday, Lea Spraeul and Gilles Jost, both 30 years old, were preparing to climb Mount Royal on their bikes to take full advantage of the sun. “Well dressed, it’s fine. We are fine. We try to ride a bike every day,” says Gilles Jost. For the couple from France, the temperature was far from weighing in the balance, they who had planned a fairly busy outdoor program. “We’re going to rent cross-country skis,” says his wife, with a smile on her face.

A first downhill ski lesson

The red cheeks and the smiles of Benjamin and Thomas, 4 and 6 years old, testified on Saturday to the hour they had just spent learning to ski on the small slope of Mount Royal.

“There is not too much wind, there is sunshine. We start today to warm them up. They are not moaning at the moment, ”said their mother Solemn Deswarte, laughing.

The 38-year-old woman and her husband, Matthew Deswarte, are alpine ski enthusiasts.

“Tomorrow, they start in Bromont”, specifies the 40-year-old dad, before indicating to his oldest to place himself in “pizza point”.

For the pleasure of children

Amelie Bedard did not hesitate to sacrifice his comfort so that his children Maxine and Theo can have fun at the Pointe-aux-Lièvres winter sports site yesterday.

“What I do is drop the kids off so they can slide down and I walk around to keep warm. It’s cold to be on the picket line, ”she laughs.

Being teleworked, Ms. Bédard usually rushes outside to go for a walk as soon as she finishes her day. If she managed to maintain her routine this week, she admits that her outings were particularly shortened.

“I try not to let the cold spoil my outings, to air my lungs, but it hasn’t been easy this week”.

– Jeremy Bernier

Daily records

– 36,7 °C ► An absolute record reached on Saturday in Quebec since these records were compiled in 1943

– 32,9 °C ► Intense cold in Saint-Hubert which shattered the -30 degrees experienced in 1934.

– 38,4 °C ► The old brand in La Tuque dated from 1991

– 39,7 °C ► The cold in Causapscal exceeded the -38.3°C recorded in 1961


– 26,7 °C ► Saturday morning weather in Montreal, unheard of since January 2018

– 44,7 °C ► This is the record of the year in Quebec, in Rivières-aux-Feuilles, Nunavik, on January 14.

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