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Sluggish Spring | National Outlook

Coldest temp anomaly in the WORLD will be felt in Canada


Erin Wenckstern
Meteorologist

Tuesday, March 27, 2018, 11:09 AM - Twin blizzards, extreme wind chills and temperatures "Barney purple" cold are making it feel anything BUT spring across parts of northern and western Canada this week. In fact, the coldest temperature anomaly around the globe will be felt in the southern Prairies late week. 

Many hope that the passing of the vernal equinox means we dive directly into mild temperatures and blossoming flowers. But spring, being a transitional season, can be a volatile period with little rest for the winter weary. As we say goodbye to March and transition into April, our atmosphere looks to take this hot-blooded nature to heart.


Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2018 for an in depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more.


FINAL DAYS OF MARCH

The country will have a split personality this week, as a significant shot of Arctic air spills into the Prairies. Temperatures, at times, will be several degrees below seasonal by the end of the week and a potentially potent snow storm looks to finish it off for some across the southern Prairies. British Columbia on the other hand will be flirting with the mid teens for the final days of March, especially in the interior.


The image below shows the temperature anomaly forecast for  Friday, with the core of the cold placed over the Prairies. The deep purple (think Barney colour) depicts temperatures at least 10 degrees below seasonal for the end of March. The coldest temperatures in the entire world will be across southern Canada this weekend, in particular, for southern and central areas of the Prairies. 


Temperature anomalies from the GFS model for Friday March 30, 2018. Image courtesy: WeatherBell

Meanwhile, across the East, a couple of days may crack the double digits for southern communities from Ontario through Quebec and into Atlantic Canada mid-to-late week. But this will be short-lived and could potentially end as a shot of snow late week. Dreaming of a white Easter? It could happen for some areas. 

FIRST WEEK OF APRIL

The cold over the west will continue to leak into the rest of Canada as we enter the first week of April. Below-seasonal temperatures will be fairly widespread from coast to coast and finding near or above-seasonal temperatures during this time period will be a challenge.


Temperature anomalies from the GFS model for early April 2018. Image courtesy: WeatherBell

With the pressing cold and the building warmth to our south, it seems unlikely most Canadians won't see another round of impactful winter weather where the two airmasses clash. So if you happen to get a brief reprieve from the chilly temperatures, don't find yourself fooled -- more snowfall may still be in the cards. If possible, hold off removing your winter tires until at least mid April just to be safe.


TROPICAL CONNECTION

It may seem a bit far-fetched, but tropical cyclones on the other side of the world can be a big driver for our weather across North America. It's a known process called 'teleconnections,' and the idea is that a powerful tropical system in the western Pacific Ocean holds a substantial amount of heat and energy and if the storm migrates into more northern latitudes ('recurves'), that heat is injected into our upper atmosphere and influences weather patterns across the northern hemisphere. As a result, our jet stream becomes overly amplified as large troughs (cold air) and ridges (warm air) take shape – and a common outcome leaves a digging trough over central and eastern North America: Colder than normal.

So why am I reviewing this phenomenon? Well through the final days of March, a typhoon will trace out this effect and aid to reinforce the cold over North America throughout the first week of April as it recurves in the western Pacific Ocean.

WILL IT BE FRIGID?

Yes and no. By April standards, temperatures will be rather chilly. But they aren't temperatures we haven't experienced before this winter. It’s important to note that our seasonal averages throughout the month of April quickly spike, so what you’ll likely experience is just a continuation of cold weather versus a shocking drop. We’re simply going to continue with the late winter trend a little longer rather than springing quickly forward, which for a transitional season isn't abnormal.

Welcome to spring in Canada!

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