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You likely won't be swimming for this upcoming long weekend. Does the pattern change afterwards?

Long weekend forecast: Below-seasonal temperatures for parts of Canada

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Dr. Doug Gillham
Meteorologist, PhD

Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 2:48 PM - Those of us who have spent much time in Canada know that the Victoria Day weekend (often called the unofficial first weekend of summer) has a fickle weather history. Some years, the May 24 weekend delivers a pleasant preview to summer while other years it has felt more like late winter. So, what can we expect this year for the upcoming long weekend?

As we look at the country, there is no region where we expect true summer-like weather as most of Canada will see temperatures that are near or below seasonal for mid-May. However, there are several areas that will still enjoy pleasant weather through the long weekend - just not quite warm enough to inspire most to go swimming.

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The nicest weekend weather will be found well north of the Canada/USA border. Parts of western and central Newfoundland, including Gander and Deer Lake, will see temperatures well above seasonal with highs reaching 20°C. However, an increasing easterly flow off the cold Atlantic will keep the east coast, including the Avalon, considerably colder.

Whitehorse in the Yukon will also enjoy a spectacular weekend with sunshine and highs and in the upper teens. Other cities which will see considerable sunshine and mild temperatures include Edmonton and Saskatoon. Most of the Maritimes will also be above seasonal, though coastal locations will be cooler and the weather will become unsettled at times.

Below-seasonal temperatures will be most noticeable in southern Alberta and southern Ontario as both Calgary and Toronto will be close to 5°C below seasonal.

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Let’s now take a closer look at the forecast for each day during the long weekend across the country. Friday will feature fair weather for much of Atlantic Canada and the Prairies. However, a slow moving cold front will continue to bring rain to eastern Ontario and much of Quebec. While much of southern Ontario will be soggy from the rain that falls Tuesday through Thursday night, the region should slowly start to dry out during the day. Unsettled weather will also be found in Southern Alberta.

The warmest temperatures across the country will be found in parts of Quebec and the Maritimes with Montreal, Fredericton, Halifax and Charlottetown all expecting highs near 20ºC.


Saturday will continue to feature fair weather for most of Atlantic Canada and from Saskatchewan to Ontario. Scattered showers are possible across Southern Ontario during the afternoon, but much of the day will be dry. Rain will continue across parts of Quebec and showers are likely for southern Alberta and British Columbia.

There is a notable lack of 20 degree temperatures on the temperature forecast map below but parts of Atlantic Canada, including Fredericton and Charlottetown, should reach 20ºC and Winnipeg will be close at 18ºC.

Weather systems will be moving slowly across the country during the weekend, so we do not see any major changes as we head into Sunday. The most significant change will be the increasing threat for showers across southern and central Saskatchewan, though this should not be an all-day washout. The showers for Alberta and B.C. should be more scattered on Sunday and the threat for rain will increase over the western Maritimes.

Sunday will feature highs near 20ºC for Winnipeg, Regina, and Fredericton. Southern Ontario and southern Quebec will see temperatures recover several degrees compared to Saturday, though still below seasonal.

For Victoria Day, the threat for unsettled weather continues for parts of the Prairies. However, there is considerable disagreement among the models as to where the threat for rain will be the highest. Several models shift the highest threat for rain into Manitoba (as indicated by the map below), but we are concerned that the wet weather across southern Alberta may well linger into Monday.

Victoria will be the warmest day of the weekend for southern Ontario. From the Rockies to the Maritimes, high temperatures in the upper teens will be widespread. However, an easterly flow off of the Atlantic will bring grey skies and single digit high temperatures to eastern Newfoundland.

Regardless of the weather, I hope that you have a safe and enjoyable long weekend.

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