First time Winnipeg hasn't reached this March milestone since the 1800s

Winnipeg has broken a record over 124 years in the making.

The coldest low temperature in over a century? Guess again.

How about the coldest monthly average temperature? That’s not it.

The eastern Prairies have avoided the spotlight over the past month - no visits from the polar vortex, foregoing blizzards and continuing to wait to see what the flood season will bring.

weather anomaly

So how could such a boring month challenge a record from the 1800s?

It’s all about staying consistently below average but not enough to be considered noteworthy.

In March, Winnipeg’s average overnight low was -16.5°C, which counts as the 38th coldest on record. The mean temperature checked in below -11°C, though this is more than 3°C below normal, it’s the 30th coldest record for the city.

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march records

The afternoon warmth was the missing piece this month. A persistent ridge over the Rockies allowed a steady northerly flow for Manitoba, preventing the thermometer from surpassing the freezing mark for the entire month. This has only happened once since records began in 1872. The last time this occurred was in 1899, about 124 years ago.

1899 march record

On a positive note, this will make the April warmth feel more impressive!