Valentine’s Day and the storms, a love story



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Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 8:00 AM – Valentine’s Day is lovers’ day, but also a time of the season for heavy snowstorms.


February 14 is an important date in meteorology.

There are two elements that mark the feast of love, the cold and the storms.

This date usually marks the end of deep winter, and there are a few hard-to-tell signs that a change is happening to head for spring.

Among these events, we note in particular snowfalls which complicate the lives of those who want to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Since 2000, Quebec has received at least three of these major storms.

The epic storms that swept over Quebec

2000: a tragic Valentine’s Day

In 2000, Montreal received more than 25 cm of snow, all accompanied by gusts of 60 km / h.

Valentine’s Day was marked by tragedy: a teenage couple was swept away by an avalanche in Château-Richer. The young man lost his life.

2007: hundreds of road trips and pilings

In 2007, a powerful low pressure system, which had led to a series of tornadoes in the United States, plunged lovers into the heart of a winter storm, in Ontario and Quebec.

In Estrie, the storm left more than 55 cm of snow in Sherbrooke. Montreal received 15 to 20 cm, all with strong winds.

In addition to the consequences on the roads, this storm made the headlines for having caused significant financial losses to certain restaurateurs and florists. The lovers had chosen to stay at home!

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2014: no school

In 2014, a storm forced the closure of several schools in Quebec.

It is in Gaspésie that the accumulations were the most important with more than 50 cm of snow. Montreal received more than 15 cm. Bad road conditions have caused numerous accidents on the road network.

Over the decades, we have observed that storms around Valentine’s Day were more and more frequent, both in Montreal, but also in Gaspé, where the number of broadsides doubled between the 10th and 18th. February, while they appear on average between February 1 and 9.

frequency of broadsides in February

More intense planks

Major storms, which hit the northeastern United States, were more frequent during the period February 1 to 14 than during other times of the year, according to a study by NOAA, the United States Environmental Agency. Winter.

northeast storm

When we know that these storms, which dump 30 to 50 cm of snow, extend over a thousand kilometers, it is not surprising to find that Quebec is suffering the repercussions.

The great contrast of temperatures and the energy deployed in the atmosphere during the month of February favor the resurgence of storms at this time of the year.

Is this the sign of an active spring?

There is a saying, “Such is the time of Valentine’s Day, such time of the coming spring”!

How far do these Valentine’s Day storms open the door to a more active spring?

If we compare the three storms of the 2000s, we notice that two times out of three, the spring stood out with more snowstorms in Quebec. There are an average of eight strings in Quebec in the spring, that is to say during the months of March, April and May.

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Bordered since 2010 on Valentine's Day

These storms are therefore like an arrow in the heart of winter and love at first sight can stretch into spring!

SEE ALSO: Valentine’s Day: a little snowmobile dance?


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