Montreal weather in March is completely unpredictable. The good news? The worst of Montreal's harsh winter is behind us. Statistically. But as you can tell from the record high and low below, anything can happen in March. So don't leave you winter duds at home just yet. At the same time, be prepared for the first taste of spring, even if it only teases for a day. Waterproof boots recommended. Why? Unless there's been next to no snowfall over the last few weeks, the streets will be a slushed up mess.
- Average March temperature: -2ºC / 28.4ºF
- Average March high (day): 2.5ºC / 36.5ºF
- Average March low (night): -6.5ºC / 20ºF
- Record high: 25.6ºC / 78ºF
- Record low: -29.4ºC / -21ºF
- Precipitation**: March in Montreal is no stranger to periods of snow, hail, and rain in the span of 24 hours. The month may include up to 9 days of light showers, possibly freezing rain. One day of the month generally shows heavier rain, with light snowfall predicted for 9 days of the month and roughly 3 days of heavier snowfall.
Montreal March Weather: What to Wear
A hearty down jacket is recommended at the beginning of March as are thick gloves, a scarf and tuque, hat or hood. On very cold days, make sure to cover the head, ears and hands as they easily lose heat. Also, insulated boots, preferably water resistant or even better, waterproof, are highly recommended. By the end of March, a lighter winter jacket with layered clothing underneath is usually the way to go as spring, slowly but surely, starts showing signs of life.
Visiting Montreal in March? Pack:
- long sleeved shirts, sweaters, short-sleeved and sleeveless shirts to be layered with cardigans, zip-ups, and/or fleece and outerwear
- recommended fabrics for winter layering include wool, merino wool, cashmere, fleece and polyester as they offer superior insulation to nylons, silks, and cottons which are fine as a base layer but not much else if you intend on staying warm
- cardigans, wraps, blazers, jackets, wool jackets, trench coats, down coats, parkas
- long pants, jeans, skirts/dresses with tights, leggings (bare legs are a bad idea)
- closed toe shoes, boots (preferably insulated and water resistant).
- scarves, gloves, hats, tuques, ear muffs
- sunglasses and sunscreen are a must year round
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*Source: Environment Canada. Average temperatures, extremes and precipitation data retrieved February 28, 2017. All information is subject to quality assurance checks by Environment Canada and may change without notice. Note that weather statistics as presented above are averages compiled from weather data collected over a 30-year period.
**Light showers, rain and/or snow may overlap on the same day. For example, if Month X features an average of 10 days of light showers, 10 days of heavier rain and 10 days of snowfall, that does not mean that 30 days of Month X are typically characterized by precipitation. It could mean that, on average, 10 days of Month X may feature light showers, rain and snow within a 24-hour period.
Montreal March Weather: The Clothes
You never know what kind of weather you'll get in Montreal come March.
A winter jacket on the lighter side, as opposed to a heavy duty knee-grazing winter parka, is a safe bet hedger if you're completely unsure what to pack and need to keep your luggage manageable. You can always layer underneath if a cold spell hits the city. And you can walk with your jacket open or take it off and hold it in your arms if spring decides to make an appearance.
Montreal March Weather: The Events
Montreal weather in March either works for or against one of the most attended events of the month, the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Some editions have been held in the throes of heavy snow. Others felt like a summer's day. Either way, people show up.
Montreal March Weather: The Lifestyle
Then there's team cup-half-empty lamenting winter for one simple reason. It's winter. And they hate it. The longer it lingers, the louder they loathe.