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An updated look at the Easter long weekend

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Friday, April 18, 2014, 7:20 AM -

Snow, freezing rain, and record breaking cold. Normal occurrences in January maybe, but mid-April?

Well, Mother Nature made it clear she is not bound by the calendar, as all Canadian provinces with the exception of British Columbia, experienced a wicked taste of winter this week. To make things even more cruel, prior to this a large part of the country was teased with record-breaking warmth more reminiscent of summer than spring. The week is almost over and thankfully, the weekend is looking a lot less volatile. Here’s a look at the forecast:

Friday

From Quebec east to Newfoundland, Friday is looking like a great day to head outdoors. With a ridge of high pressure in place for the region the forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud and slightly below seasonal temperatures across the board. There is the possibility of some mixed precipitation along the Atlantic shorelines in Nova Scotia Friday evening, but overall the day should be a mainly dry one.


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The Great Lakes region on the other hand will be dealing with a lingering system which may bring mixed precipitation to the Nickel Belt early on Friday before bringing scattered showers to the south.

Manitoba and northwestern Ontario look to also have a fairly dry day in store with daytime highs inching up above the zero degree mark just in the nick of time. Although for this time of year temperatures will be a little chilly, a more substantial warm-up is expected further into the weekend. The western edge of Manitoba should be on the lookout for incoming precipitation late in the day however, as an approaching system from the west may bring late day mixing and the risk of accumulating snow.

British Columbia looks to have some lingering precipitation in store for Friday with some coastal showers on Vancouver Island throughout the day. The interior is also likely to see scattered showers, with snow in the higher elevations. For the lower mainland however, this will likely be the driest day of the weekend so take advantage of it. Unfortunately the Pacific moisture will create quite an unsettled day for Albertans with snow to the north, rain to south and an area of mixing in between. This will likely also result in a stark temperature contrast between the north and southern areas of the province. Saskatchewan, expect this messy weather to head your way throughout the day Friday as well, along with blustery conditions.



Saturday

Saturday in Atlantic Canada is expected to be rather unsettled. The system moving into the region Friday evening will intensify bringing mixed precipitation, rain and even snow to Nova Scotia and parts of Prince Edward Island, with New Brunswick being largely spared.

Accumulating snowfall will likely slow commuters in Newfoundland before a changeover to rain. These regions can also expect gusty winds especially along the shorelines.


RELATED: Record-breaking cold grips southern Ontario: What's next 


The new forecast for southern Ontario, on the other hand, is cause for celebration. With recovering temperatures and a mix of sun and cloud in store, this could be the best day of the weekend. Southern Quebec can expect the same, but don’t rule out some brief showers in the early morning hours.

The system affecting Alberta and Saskatchewan on Friday will continue to track east towards Manitoba Friday night into Saturday. This will be a taste of winter before more spring-like conditions arrive for the end of the weekend. Breezy winds and accumulating snowfall will make for an unsettled day before a changeover to rain and mixing through the evening. The same can be expected in northwestern Ontario before the system heads northeast Saturday night.

The image below indicates the location of expected precipitation on Saturday afternoon where grey indicates lighter precipitation and green indicates heavier precipitation. As can be seen the heaviest precipitation at that time is expected over southern Manitoba, northwestern Ontario and Newfoundland.



Meanwhile in Alberta, Saturday looks to be a much more pleasant day with temperatures at the seasonal mark and mainly dry conditions.

Along the B.C. coast there is an incoming system which will bring rain and breezy winds to the south coast, possibly later in the day rather than earlier. This system is the start of a showery weekend ahead for the province.

NEXT PAGE: READ ON FOR SUNDAY AND MONDAY


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