Spring is off to a rather sluggish start across most of Canada.
Most Canadian springs actually start this way, but it seems that many are feeling the slow start more so this year. After being teased by an extended period of spring-like weather during the heart of winter, it appears that our expectations got ahead of the realities of March and its ability to look and feel like winter.
Will spring finally hit its stride during the month of April? Before we get to the forecast, here is an important reminder to help us manage our expectations.
April is often a fickle month! It is notorious for delivering parting shots from winter. However, from time to time, April will also tease us with a brief taste of summer-like warmth. Sometimes it will do both within a few days!
Can we expect both sides of April this year?
During early April, we expect that colder-than-normal temperatures will continue to dominate from British Columbia to northern Ontario, stretching into northern Quebec.
(Canada's overall temperature pattern for the early part of April)
However, much warmer weather across the eastern U.S. will finally surge north across the border into southern Ontario and southern Quebec a couple of times. While we will not see consistent warmth, a few days of much warmer weather should more than offset the quick shots of cooler weather across this region.
Across Atlantic Canada, we expect that changeable temperatures will balance out and return to near normal.
However, as we head into the Easter long weekend, we expect that the focus of the colder weather will shift east for a few days, with colder-than-normal temperatures expected from Ontario to Atlantic Canada. This should allow B.C. and Alberta to enjoy a few days of warmer weather during the weekend and into the second week of April.
(Canada's overall temperature pattern for the second week of April)
Then, as we head towards mid-April, we expect that the colder-than-normal temperatures will shift back into Western Canada at times and warmer weather will attempt to push back into Eastern Canada at times.
(Canada's overall temperature pattern from mid to late April)
As we look at the big picture for the entire month, April will live up to its reputation of being a fickle month, but cooler-than-normal temperatures will be more dominant than the periods of warmer weather across most of Canada. A brief taste of summer-like warmth is still possible, but it looks like we will have to wait until May for more consistent warm weather.
Storm Track & Precipitation Outlook
The changeable temperature pattern will contribute to an active storm track across Ontario and into Quebec with above-normal precipitation for April. Of course, some of that precipitation will fall as snow and ice, especially across northern Ontario and Quebec, where more late winter-like storms are expected.
(Canada's precipitation outlook for April 2023)
Near-normal precipitation is expected across B.C. and into parts of the Prairies. However, parts of the Prairies are also at risk of seeing below-normal precipitation. This is quite a contrast to last year for Manitoba, when the extremely wet conditions resulted in lengthy delays in getting crops planted.
While spring will continue to test the patience of those who are eager to say farewell to chilly weather, there are a couple of positive messages that we can know for certain. Normal temperatures will steadily rise through the month of April (increasing by 5°C to 10°C across most of Canada), and the length of the daylight period will continue to get longer with each passing day. And of course, by the end of April, the start of meteorological summer (June 1) will be just one month away!