It's official — 2021 was the hottest year on record for Montreal, according to Environment Canada. It beat out the previous hottest years, 1998 and 2012, by a mean few hundredths of a degree.
This rise in temperature in Montreal is attributed to new weather patterns, causing scorching temperatures in June, August, September and October. "August and October were record-breaking months," said Environment Canada spokesperson Simon Legault.
"We were lucky that July was below normal because if it hadn't happened that way, [...] we would have shattered the record instead of just breaking it," he added.
A few hundredths of a degree may not sound like such a big problem, but temperatures in Montreal (and around the world) have been steadily rising.
The average annual temperature in Montreal from 1951 to 1980 was 6.5ºC, according to ClimateData.ca. Last year's mean temperature came in at a whopping 8.6ºC. This drastic increase in fortyish years has already begun to show its effects — not just on our electrical bills in the summer, but also the health of the population, the Climate Action Network says.
Whether or not 2022 will be even hotter remains anyone's guess. Projections for an area as small as Southern Quebec can only be made a few weeks in advance.
What we do know is that February and March should be significantly warmer than January.
"A few short intense waves of cold are coming in," Legault said of January, adding that February and March are expected to be "close to or above normal temperatures."
While the weather is expected to be manageable while you're doing your holiday shopping, the Farmers' Almanac predicts that things will take a turn for the worse around December 16, with conditions becoming more "unsettled."
"Frigidly cold weather" is expected to make its way from the Arctic to Quebec just in time for Christmas and Boxing Day, which will be mixed with scattered snow showers and flurries. So you may have a good excuse to skip a few parties to stay warm.
Either way, you'll likely find some relief as we welcome the new year. From December 28 to 31, the weather is expected to be "fair and cold initially, then becoming milder as we ring in 2022."
Overall, the Farmers' Almanac is predicting a "typical winter chill" in Quebec throughout winter, with a stormy January that'll taper off into a relatively easy, but still cold, February.
The forecast says Valentine's Day will see light snow and fair skies, which sounds ideal for a winter walk or cuddling up by a fire.
There will be almost 60% fewer days of precipitation in February compared to January, according to the report.
While it's tricky to predict the weather so far in advance, admitted the report, followers of the Farmers' Almanac have observed its accuracy "runs in the neighbourhood of 75% to 80%."