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This Week in Weather History (March 1 - 7)

In March 2007, ice fell from the CN tower. Click the image for a look back at this week's Weather History events
In March 2007, ice fell from the CN tower. Click the image for a look back at this week's Weather History events

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

March 2, 2011 — Here's a look back at the stories that were making headlines this week in Weather History.

March 3rd/4th, 1971 - STORM HITS MONTREAL

On March 3rd and 4th, 1971, Montreal was battered by what was known as the city's snowstorm of the century. The storm ranks fifth in terms of total snowfall, but the 43.2 centimetres that fell at Trudeau and the 51.1 that fell at Saint-Hubert on the fourth are one-day records that stand to this day. The storm was especially bad because of the intensity of the snow. There were also strong winds. 17 people died in connection to the storm.

March 1st - 4th, 1999 - STORM HITS OTTAWA

In 1999, March roared in like a lion in the city of Ottawa. Between March 1st and 4th, 60.6 centimetres of snow fell on the Capital. The storm was a messy mix of snow and over 30 millimetres of rain that caused flooding, traffic headaches and cancelled flights. Coincidentally, the storm occurred on the anniversary of the city's worst snowstorm in history. In 1974, over the same four days, 80 centimetres fell on the city.


After a messy storm on March 1st, 2007, Toronto residents had one really big problem to deal with -- what to do when ice fell from the one of the world's tallest buildings. Surrounding streets were closed, including the Gardiner Expressway, when, for the first time in its history, ice had built up on the CN Tower and began to fall to the ground. While parked cars had suffered damage, no one was injured; which was fortunate, considering that from almost almost three quarters up the tower, falling ice could hit the ground at over 350 kilometres per hour.


There had never been a March on record where it didn't snow in the city of Toronto - until 2010. Downtown, the city saw precipitation, but none of it fell as snow. That is something that had never happened as long as record-keeping began back in 1845. At Pearson airport, it was one of only two Marches on record where no measurable snow had fallen. It was the same story in Ottawa. About 50 mm of rain fell, but no snow. In Montreal, a mere 1.4 cm of snow fell - the lowest on record for March.


The coldest temperature recorded this century at Toronto's Pearson Airport in Mississauga was -24.7°C on March 3, 2003. That same day, communities to the north from Orangeville to Owen Sound dropped to -29°C. The coldest temperature ever recorded at Pearson airport was -31.3°C on January 4, 1981. On the same day, the windchill record was also set at -44.7. Downtown Toronto's coldest reading was colder at -32.8°C on January 10, 1859.

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