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Quebec | Long weekend

Storms for Easter weekend in Quebec; cold start to April

Digital writers

Friday, March 30, 2018, 11:10 AM - Spring has been off to a sluggish start for most of Canada, and southern Quebec is no exception.

This week offered a bit of hope on the temperature front, at least, with highs finally creeping back up to seasonal values - even slightly above - under the influence of mild flow from the south. Unfortunately, that warmth will be short-lived, as wetter weather moves back in to end the week and, in the wake of that system, temperatures dip once again as winds shift.

We take a look at the long weekend forecast and what the early days of April have in store, below.

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

Weather highlights:

  • Rainy system sweeps through province on Friday
  • Significant rainfall for Montreal, southern Laurentians, Eastern Townships
  • Freezing rain and accumulating snow for higher terrain and north shores of St. Lawrence
  • Second system moves in for early Sunday bringing more widespread snow
  • Gusty winds from north bring cold air back into region, keep highs near freezing for early days of April
  • Long range pattern stays cold for region

Watch below: Timing precipitation through the weekend

Unsettled Easter weekend

A decidedly more spring-like looking system is the first to move through southern Quebec on Friday, bringing some significant rainfall to Montreal, the southern Laurentians, and the Eastern Townships. We can expect some freezing rain and accumulating snows for the higher terrain in the Laurentians and along the north shores of the St. Lawrence through Friday afternoon. This speedy system clears southern Quebec entirely by late Friday, as it heads out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, leaving some gusty north winds in its wake.

That won't be the only - or the coldest - weather system to move through for the long weekend, as forecasters eye another low that takes aim on the province for Saturday night and early Sunday. This low looks to take advantage of the colder air in place in the wake of its predecessor, and that means more snow across the region while rain stays south over northern New England and into the Maritimes. Fortunately, accumulations from this system look to be fairly light, thanks to a combination of cooler, drier air and the speed of the system itself. 

Polar Vortex swings back, prolonged period of cold weather

Unfortunately for those waiting on the warm up, the early days of April are looking more like winter than spring.

"Colder than normal temperatures will dominate the first 10 days of April," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. "We will also have an active storm track in the vicinity of the Great Lakes region and each passing system will attempt to draw milder air into the region ahead of the system, followed by reinforcing shots of cold weather after each system goes by."

Temperatures will likely be hovering around the freezing mark in the Montreal area for the first week of April, when seasonal conditions are typically closer to 6 or 7oC for that time of year. 

So when do we warm up for good? Well, it might be a bit of a wait. "The [unseasonably cold] pattern will relax somewhat after April 10th, but colder than normal temperatures could linger into mid-April," adds Gillham. "We expect that a [more robust] warm pattern will develop for May, but the timing for the pattern change is still uncertain."

Below: Why leaders call Canada's climate change goals "disappointing"

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