Murdochville residents will always remember the famous record-breaking storm of February 16, 2017. As morning dawned, snow covered the doors and windows of every house in town, transforming them into gigantic igloos and locking darkness inside. Residents had to ferociously dig through the snow to find their cars. However, with the storm came a gift: The most unbelievably perfect powder snow!
With a 120 cm snowfall in one night, this storm still holds the Quebec record for the largest snowfall recorded in 24 hours. Similar to a warrior’s journey, venturing outside was quite the task for the town’s residents, but a task that brought a smile on every skiers’ face!
How can a snow storm submerge the town of Murdochville under such a voluminous amount of snow? The phenomenon is called orographic lift, where winds carry cold air over a body of water warmer than air. The temperature contrast between the air and water causes the air to become saturated with moisture, and this moisture is cooled by the altitude and transformed into snow precipitation. Being located at an altitude of 600 meters, the town of Murdochville is often witness to the phenomenon of orographic ascent, which makes it an ideal place to enjoy a maximum of powder snow!