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Typical spring weather returns for unofficial start to summer

Thursday, May 14th 2020, 10:12 am - A more seasonal, spring pattern will return just in time for the May long weekend in Canada.

The month of May has felt more like March at times from the Prairies to Atlantic Canada. The various shades of blue and green on the temperature anomaly map below show how widespread the cold weather has been across much of North America so far during May.


Mother’s Day weekend was especially cold across Ontario and Quebec, with numerous record low temperatures and reports of snow. In contrast, temperatures made a dramatic recovery across B.C. and the Yukon with summer-like warmth, especially near the South Coast.

The question now is, will the persistent cold pattern east of the Rockies continue into the upcoming long weekend, which is considered by many to be the unofficial start of summer? Read on to find out.


The recent pattern is finally in the process of breaking down, with temperatures more typical of May expected across most of Canada for the long weekend. While most Canadians will not see summer-like temperatures this weekend (with the exception of southern parts of the Prairies), at least most areas we can say goodbye to the extreme cold.

Below is a look at the temperatures across Canada as we kick off the long weekend on Friday afternoon. Parts of southern Ontario will touch 20°C, while cooler than seasonal temperatures can be expected across Newfoundland and stretching from Yellowknife to Churchill.

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The warmest weather this weekend will be found across the southern Prairies, including Lethbridge, Regina, and Winnipeg -- with temperatures climbing well into the 20s by the end of the weekend.

Saturday will also be a dry day across most of Canada. However, showers will reach the south coast of B.C. for Saturday afternoon.

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The rain will be more widespread Saturday night and into Sunday across B.C. before the system tracks into Alberta Sunday night. This will bring a threat for showers to parts of western and northern Alberta for Sunday and into Monday.


Widespread rain will develop from west to east across southern and central Ontario during Sunday but the rain will hold off until Sunday night for Ottawa and Montreal.

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Unfortunately, the rain will continue into Monday across southern Ontario. However, it will be a very close call for Ottawa and Montreal with most of the rain ending during the morning across this region. This could allow for a mostly dry afternoonn and evening on Monday. A few showers are expected to spread into western Nova Scotia but for the most part this system will miss Atlantic Canada.

Monday will be the warmest day of the long weekend across the southern Prairies with temperatures reaching the mid 20s (a few spots will reach the upper 20s). Cooler and unsettled weather is expected well to the north.

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A temporary pattern change is expected late next week and weekend. This will finally bring several days of warm weather to Ontario and into southern Quebec. However, the long awaited warm-up will be delayed across southern Ontario where an east wind will keep temperatures on the cool side of seasonal until the end of the week, especially near the west end of Lake Ontario, including the Greater Toronto Area.

The warm weather will actually reach Northern Ontario first with temperatures climbing into the low to mid 20s for the middle and end of next week and continuing into the weekend and a few spots will reach the upper 20s. This taste of early summer will also spread into southern Quebec late in the week.

The warm weather should finally reach southern Ontario during Friday or Saturday and continue into the begininng of the following week. However, keep in mind that the Great Lakes are still rather chilly, so many shoreline areas with onshore winds will be considerably cooler.


Elsewhere across Canada, temperatures next week will be near seasonal or on the cool side of seasonal. However, at this point, the cooler areas are not expected to be excessively cold - in contrast to the shots of cold weather that we have seen so far this spring.

Looking ahead to the final week of May, it looks like the focus of the warmest weather will shift back to western Canada, while temperatures drop back to near seasonal or the cool side of seasonal across Ontario and Quebec. However, these temperatures will still be much warmer than what we have seen so far during May across this region.

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