Sudden summer or sputtering spring? May will deliver a month of contrasts

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Mark's Work Wearhouse 3 (TWN - May 2023 Forecast)

Will conditions this May flip-flop like we saw in April, or is Canada finally in for a spell of consistent warmth?

Spring weather is notoriously fickle, and this year has only reinforced that reputation. While many of us were teased by a taste of summer during the month of April, spring continues to sputter across most of the country.

Will May finally deliver consistent warm weather? Please read on to see what we expect from the upcoming month.

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But first, here is a quick recap of the month of April.

The various shades of blue and green on the temperature anomaly map below confirms that colder-than-normal weather dominated throughout April from British Columbia to northern Ontario. However, April did end with a brief taste of summer across B.C. and Alberta.

May 2023 Outlook April Temp Anomalies

Southern Ontario and southern Quebec were warmer than normal during April thanks to an extraordinary week of record-shattering warmth during the middle of the month. However, since that taste of summer, below-seasonal temperatures have dominated across that region.

Across Atlantic Canada, the back-and-forth temperature swings came close to offsetting each other. Meanwhile, most of Northern Canada was warmer than normal during April.

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As we look ahead to May, we expect that spring will really test our patience through at least the first week of the month from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada with colder-than-normal temperatures dominating. This will even include significant snow for parts of the region.

May 2023 Outlook - Temp Pattern - First Ten Days Of May

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Meanwhile, across Western Canada, warmer-than-normal temperatures will dominate, especially across the western Prairies with summer-like temperatures at times. This will be a dramatic pattern reversal compared to most of the spring season thus far.

During the second week of May, we expect a temporary shift in the pattern with warmer weather spreading into parts of Eastern Canada. There is still some uncertainty as to how far east the warmer weather will reach, but we expect several days when most of Canada will see normal or warmer-than-normal temperatures as we approach mid-May.

May 2023 Outlook - Pattern Shift Mid-May

However, the shift in the pattern will not have very much staying power.

During the final two weeks of May we expect to see a transition to a pattern that will resemble the first week of May with below-seasonal temperatures returning to Ontario and Quebec and above-seasonal temperatures across most of Western Canada, especially Alberta.

May 2023 Outlook - Temp Pattern - Final Ten Days Of May

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For Manitoba and Atlantic Canada, we expect changeable temperatures with alternating periods of colder and warmer weather which should come close to offsetting each other.

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So, for the month of May as a whole, we expect that most of Western Canada will see a strong finish to a spring season which sputtered along through most of March and April.

Meanwhile, for residents of Eastern Canada who are looking forward to consistent warm weather, spring will continue to test our patience through the month of May.

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