Have you wondered about the saying “in like a lion and out like a lamb”? After our unusually cold winter, we are more than ready for spring melting. But can the weather on March 1 predict the weather at the end of the month?
March “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” means that the weather is very cold at the beginning part of the month of March but the weather is warmer at the end of the month. That make sense but March weather is highly unpredictable. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, March weather folklore stems from ancestral beliefs in balance, meaning if the weather at the start of March was bad (roaring, like a roaring lion), the month should end with good
weather (gentle, like a lamb).
The Paris Review website discussed the origins of the lion/lamb saying. Some say it’s written in the stars. At this time of year, Leo is the rising sign; by April, it’s Aries. (The sign for aries is a goat but lambs make a better alliterative saying.)
One of the earliest citations is in Thomas Fuller’s 1732 compendium, Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs; Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings, Ancient and Modern, Foreign and British. The authors give the wording as “Comes in like a Lion, goes out like a Lamb.”
Besides being cold, we have seen a huge accumulation of snow this winter. According to Environment Canada, on March 4, Prince Albert had 54 cm of accumulated snow on the ground, but it has diminished since then due to sun, wind and rain. By comparison, on March 19, 1956, there was 71 cm accumulation … a winter with record snowfall.
While you are waiting for the snow to melt, test yourself on these Canadian cold facts gleaned from the Canadian Geographic website:
- Which is colder, Russia or Canada?
- What is the lowest temperature recorded in North America?
- Canada is deadly cold. More Canadians die each year from exposure to extreme cold temperatures than from other natural events, according to Statistics Canada. How many die from the cold?
- What was the greatest single-day snowfall recorded in Canada?
- Which is Canada’s coldest city?
- Canada is pretty cool, but it ties with Russia with an average daily annual temperature of -5.6ºC.
- The village of Snag, Yukon, registered -63ºC on Feb. 3, 1947.
- An average of 108 people die annually from the cold, while only 17 succumb to
other nature-related events.
- On Feb.11, 1999, Tahtsa, B.C., was blanketed with nearly a metre and a half of the white stuff (145 cm). That broke a record of 118.1 cm of snow that fell on Lakelse Lake, B.C., on Jan. 17, 1974.
The world record of 192 cm was set at Silver Lake, Colorado, on April 15, 1921.
- As so often happens, Saskatoon and Regina, are tied with -50ºC recorded on Feb. 1, 1893, and Jan. 1, 1885, respectively.
There’s a saying in Canada that if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. Never could that have been more true than in Pincher Creek, Alta., where Canada’s most extreme temperature change was recorded. The mercury soared from -19ºC to 22ºC in just one hour