Wintermission: Temporary break from frigid weather ahead
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 11:22 AM - Late January is the coldest time of the year across most of Canada but this weekend will feature a pause in the winter pattern for many Canadians. High temperatures on Saturday (shown below) will be more typical of March across southern Canada.
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- Above-normal temperatures are expected from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes for the last week of January
- Another pattern change is expected in mid-February, which will bring a return to colder-than-normal temperatures for most of Canada
- The chilly pattern is expected to persist for the remainder of February and into March
This is quite a contrast to the dominant pattern for the past month which has delivered colder than normal weather across most of Canada. The various shades of blue and green on the map below represent colder than normal temperatures over the past thirty days. Only Newfoundland and parts of northern Canada have seen above normal temperatures while the rest of Canada has been colder than normal.
Looking ahead to next week, colder than normal weather will return to western Canada including the Prairies. Meanwhile, above normal temperatures are expected from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes during the final week of January and into early February.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that a relatively mild pattern during the coldest time of year can still be cold enough for snow and ice. Also, the Arctic air will not be far away across western and northern Canada and it will attempt to interrupt the thaw at times and bring near seasonal temperatures, which is still cold. But, this does highlight that the end of January and early February will be much milder than what we experienced during late December and early January.
However, winter is far from over across this region. While exact timing is still uncertain, around the second week of February we expect another pattern change which will bring a return to colder than normal temperatures for most of Canada, especially from the Rockies to the Maritimes. This pattern is expected to persist for the remainder of February and deep into March.