It didn’t set an all-time record, but March 15 was officially one of the snowiest days in March since weather records started being kept back in 1967.
Environment Canada says 20.6 centimetres of snow fell in Thompson on Wednesday, a record for that date. However, it wasn’t even the snowiest March day overall of the last three years, with a total one cm less than the 21.6 centimetres that fell on March 29, 2021. The snowiest March day on record in Thompson was March 16, 1996, when 26.4 cm of snow fell in the city. Those are the only three recorded March dates in Thompson since 1967 that saw more than 20 cm of snow fall in 24 hours.
More snow fell in Thompson on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week — 34.2 cm, including 13.6 cm on March 14 — than usually falls throughout all of March, which has a historical average of 23. 4 cm over its 31 days. There were 80 cm of snow on the ground at the end of March 15 this year, slightly less than the 82 cm that were on the ground on the same date two years ago.
There is, however, an asterisk beside these records. Environment Canada did not record any snowfall data on March 7 and March 8, 2017, when a massive blizzard basically shut down the city, forcing City Hall and Thompson schools to close for at least one day and other facilities like the arena and pool and services such as transit and trash pickup for three days or longer. Multiple vehicles were stranded on city streets for days during that March storm. Emergency medical responders used two Bombardier snowcats loaned to Thompson Fire & Emergency Services by Manitoba Hydro to respond to calls that year, including at least one emergency that was a matter of life and death.
At one point in March 2017, there were more than 100 cm of snow on the ground in Thompson.