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Will there be rain, snow or sun? Dr. Doug Gillham has the details.

Easter long weekend: What will the weather be like?

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    Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 7:57 PM -

    After a rough start to the week, many Canadians may be looking for a reprieve during the upcoming long weekend. This week Mother Nature has a taste of winter in store for many of us, with daytime highs expected to be slightly above the zero degree mark for many in Ontario and Quebec by mid-week. In fact, on Tuesday, some communities in eastern Ontario and Quebec may be lucky enough to start their day with a thunderstorm, and end the day off with snow. Meanwhile parts of Manitoba and Saskatchewan shiver with single digit highs on the other side of the zero degree line. The good news is the weekend is looking a lot less volatile.

    RELATED: Southern Ontario's Tuesday snowfall: Five maps that make sense of everything

    Here’s a look at the forecast:


    From the Great Lakes east to Newfoundland, Friday is looking like a great day to head outdoors. With a ridge of high pressure in place from Quebec to Atlantic Canada the forecast calls for a mix of sun and cloud and seasonal temperatures across the board. The exception may be communities along the Superior shorelines where rain and possibly some mixed precipitation is not out of the question.

    Central Saskatchewan and east towards 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 substantial warm-up is expected between Thursday and Friday.

    British Columbia looks to have some lingering precipitation in store for Friday with some coastal showers earlier in the day before drying off through the afternoon. The interior is also likely to see showers, with snow in the higher elevations. This produce showers throughout Alberta as well, but the start of the day looks to be a dry one. Across the region temperatures are also expected to be seasonal, so a fairly pleasant day is in store.

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    Eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan however, should watch out Friday night, with temperatures dropping through the evening. Expect some of the rain showers to change into snow.


    On Saturday a system is set to move into southern Ontario, bringing cloud cover and passing showers for a portion of the day. Temperatures may drop slightly as a result of all the cloud cover, however most regions should remain in the seasonal range.

    The rain will likely make its way to Quebec mid-day and then track east along the St. Lawrence eventually reaching the Maritimes late Saturday or alternatively Sunday morning. There is some disagreement with regards to the forecast for the Maritimes however, as some models have started to move the precipitation into Nova Scotia earlier on Saturday. Even if this does happen the precipitation would be light to start, and initially New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland would be largely spared until Sunday. The image below representing rain in the green and snow in the blue, highlights that Saturday afternoon parts of Quebec and New Brunswick may still be dry while parts of Ontario and Nova Scotia see rain.

    In the west the forecast is a little bit more uncertain as weather models are disagreeing on the track of the system lying over eastern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Some models weaken the low and then move it out of the region, pushing it state-side. This would provide Saskatchewan and Manitoba with a mainly dry day, except for the possibility of some lingering moisture along the international border. The alternative to this forecast however is that the low pressure system heads east across the Canadian Prairies bringing moisture to Saskatchewan Friday overnight into Saturday, and subsequently Manitoba and northwestern Ontario Saturday through Sunday morning. This precipitation has the potential to be both rain and accumulating snow along with some gusty winds.

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



    The system nosing its way into Nova Scotia on Saturday may potentially develop into a storm on Sunday which could also bring the threat accumulating snow (sorry) to all the of the Maritimes provinces before moving into Newfoundland later in the day. The question will most certainly be the track of this system.

    The image above represents Sunday morning and it shows the potential for the snow over the Maritimes in the blue with the rain along the Atlantic Coast of Nova Scotia in green. If it skirts the Atlantic shoreline, precipitation could fall predominantly as snow, but a track further inland would mean more mild air and thus more rain. Either way it will likely be an unsettled day for most across the region.

    The image also leads us into our next story which is the question of Ontario and Quebec’s forecast on Sunday: Will it be wet or dry?

    As can be seen from the image above, that particular weather model is thinking a dry (and mild) day ahead, however there are other models that want to bring some rain into the region. Thankfully the more optimistic forecast is looking to be the more likely of the two so don’t change your plans just yet.

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    On Sunday southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba will experience mainly dry conditions but also a large increase in temperature bringing their daytime highs into the mid-teens. At the moment the forecast is calling for a beautiful day in store but keep in mind windy conditions are expected to accompany the mild weather.

    British Columbia is also expecting mild weather, however spotty showers are likely to continue along the coast. Temperatures in the interior however, may approach the 20 degree mark. This moisture is expected to move over the Rockies and could bring some light rain to parts of northern Alberta and northern Saskatchewan while keeping the southern regions of the Prairies dry.


    Conditions look to remain unsettled over southern Newfoundland on Monday with snow likely falling through the early part of the day, however conditions in the Maritimes look to improve as the day wears on.

    Southern Ontario and Quebec have another low pressure system looming leading to the possibility of a day with scattered showers across the region, but also milder temperatures. In fact, in the GTA and along the St. Lawrence, Monday is expected to be the warmest day of the long weekend.

    The warm-up over the Prairies is expected to continue into Monday, as are the relatively dry conditions. The image above highlights this trend as can be seen by the deeper oranges and reds over the Prairie regions. This represents temperatures approximately 1500 m above the surface, which provides a good indication of the temperatures expected at the surface.

    For Saskatchewan and Manitoba models are hinting at the potential for the moisture from the British Columbia system to form into a low that then tracks east along the Prairies, but even if that does occur, with temperatures so mild the precipitation will fall as rain as opposed to snow.

    Coastal British Columbia will likely continue to see scattered showers on Monday, but temperatures will make it worthwhile as the forecast is calling for daytime highs on the coast in the mid to high teens with similar if not warmer temperatures in the interior. Alberta may also experience some of those spotty showers but it looks to be a mainly fair day with temperatures above the seasonal mark.

    This is a long range forecast, so remember minor details may change. Stay tuned for your most up to date forecast for the long weekend ahead.

    Thumbnail image courtesy of freeimages.com.

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