Wednesday, February 26th 2020, 5:30 am - With winter officially coming to an end, and some parts of Canada already starting to see some spring-like temperatures, we’re taking a closer look at the patterns that will drive your weather over the next three months.
Most Canadians have already been teased by a taste of early spring after a mild winter that lacked consistently cold weather. However, that doesn’t mean that we will just coast through to summer with mild weather. While early spring will continue to bring periods of mild weather, the season will also bring a heightened risk for periods of colder than normal weather. In addition, large parts of the country will have a wet spring. We breakdown what each province can expect, below.
NATIONAL TEMPERATURE PATTERN
Spring is notorious for bringing changeable weather and this year will be no exception. Periods of warmer than normal weather are likely across the country, but extended interruptions will test our patience at times. For much Canada, these alternating periods of warm and cold weather will offset each other with near-normal temperatures for the months of March, April and May as a whole.
For the eastern half of Canada, this means a warmer spring than the past two years. However, colder than normal weather is expected from northern Manitoba to northern Quebec and for parts of Nunavut. Meanwhile, temperatures are expected to tip to the warm side of normal across British Columbia, western Alberta, Yukon and parts of the NWT.
NATIONAL PRECIPITATION PATTERN
Most of Canada is expected to see either near-normal or above-normal precipitation during the spring season. While it is inevitable that some areas will end up dry, at this point we do not see any long-range signals pointing to widespread dry conditions. Wetter than normal weather is expected this spring for the Great Lakes region, along the St. Lawrence and into the Maritimes. A wet spring is also expected across the northern Plains of the United States and some of this wet weather is expected to extend into parts of southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan near the U.S. border.
Below is a more detailed look at the conditions that we expect for each region across Canada during March, April and May.
Spring usually comes first to this part of Canada and, overall, we expect a warmer than normal spring across the region. However, the season will get off to a slow and inconsistent start with periods of colder than normal weather during March and possibly into early April. When warmer weather does arrive, we will have to closely monitor the risk for spring flooding. Near normal precipitation is expected through the season.
While many may be disappointed by periods of cooler spring weather, this is good news for ski areas. After a slow start to the season, the snowpack is now close to normal across much of the province and above-normal snow depths are found in the Rockies. A delay in the arrival of consistently warm weather will allow the ski season to extend deeper into the spring.
WATCH: MARCH CHILL TO DAMPEN THE CHERRY BLOSSOM EXPLOSION
ALBERTA, SASKATCHEWAN AND MANITOBA
While winter lacked consistent cold, this spring will struggle to produce consistent warmth. Several weeks of colder than normal weather is expected as winter takes some parting shots before we settle into a warmer pattern. Near-normal precipitation is expected for much of the region, but a wetter pattern is expected near the U.S. border of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Above-normal snow depths on the Rocky Mountains means that we will have to closely monitor the risk for spring flooding along many creeks and rivers in Alberta. The Red River region is also at risk for flooding as the region went into winter with saturated ground. In addition, there has been an abundance of snow in upstream areas of the United States that drain into the Red River.