Quebecers can legally remove winter tires soon, but should they?

Don't let the recent warm weather and the lifting of a provincial law requiring winter tires after Friday fool you, Quebec, Mother Nature is still likely to give you a snowy surprise into April

Time is nearly up on Quebec’s winter tire requirements.

The provincial law that makes it mandatory for vehicles to have winter tires on expires after Friday, March 15, but should you rush to switch to summer tires? Probably not.

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Although March so far has been warm, and pleasant for most, it’s not expected to stay that way. A shakeup in the weather patterns will offer more shots of arctic air over the province, trending seasonal or cooler for the second half of the month.

With colder air available, snowfall is not out of the question, especially for higher elevations like the Laurentians.


Montreal is expected to hit its normal daytime high of 2°C to start off the next work week, with below freezing lows. That, along with a system moving through, will likely bring snowfall as early as Monday, March 18. As you head farther north of Montreal, into Quebec City, Mont-Laurier or Val-d'Or, for example, the snowfall chances grow.

Beyond early next week, the long-range weather models put a trough over Western Canada, once again favouring a colder weather pattern and an active one, too.

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It’s important to note this change will be closer to normal than how the month of March has started. So don't be fooled with the provincial law expiry, perhaps continue with the snow tires for the next few weeks.


When should you remove winter tires?

The removal of winter tires shouldn't be calculated by calendar date, as Canada is notorious for spring snowfalls and cold weather in April.

By design, winter tires are engineered to enhance your car's handling, traction, and braking performance when the temperature is below 7°C.

Winter tires/Unsplash/Photo: Daniel Foster

(Daniel Foster/Unsplash)

What about when temperatures warm up to that mark and start climbing from there? Well, when temperatures climb to 7°C or higher, and remain there consistently, you can take the winter tires off.

With files from Rachel Modestino, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, and Nathan Howes, a digital reporter at The Weather Network.