How long until spring arrives?
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:53 AM -
Across most of Canada, December through February brought our coldest winter temperatures in decades. Heading into March, many winter weary Canadians hoped that spring would soon be in the air. However, despite a few tastes of spring, overall March has brought a continuation of well below seasonal temperatures.
The map below displays temperature anomalies across North America through to this past Monday. The regions colored in blue and green have been colder than their average temperatures for the first half of March, while the orange shaded areas, such as in the Arctic and the southwestern United States, have been warmer than seasonal.
According to the calendar, spring officially arrives on Thursday, but unfortunately there is little spring weather in the forecast. The map below shows a very cold pattern from coast to coast for the first five days of spring. The coldest temperatures relative to average will stretch from the Prairies to western Quebec. These regions are will likely see temperatures ranging from 5 to 15 degrees below seasonal as indicated by the green and dark blue/violets colors on the map.
The following five days will not be quite as cold, but temperatures will continue to be below seasonal from the Prairies to the Atlantic coast. The best chance for above seasonal temperatures to conclude the month of March will be across British Columbia.
Looking ahead to the month of April, we do not currently see any signs of a major change in the pattern. The image below shows a forecast from one of the many long range model that support a continuation of a cooler than seasonal pattern for regions east of the Rockies. While there will be periods of more pleasant spring weather, cooler than seasonal days will likely be more numerous than warm days. British Columbia has the best chance of seeing a mild April, but spring will be especially slow to arrive from the eastern Prairies to the Great Lakes.