Canadians should be patient this spring as a “temperature roller-coaster” is expected across the country in the coming weeks, according to predictions from a prominent national forecaster.
The Weather Network said while Canada is expected to see tastes of spring, there are a number of weeks to go before cold winter conditions phase out.
“Given that we’ve got a La Nina weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean, coupled with a jet stream pattern across the Arctic, which is going to want to dislodge cold air, we’ve got the recipe for a really wild kind of temperature roller-coaster this spring across the country,” chief meteorologist Chris Scott said in an interview.
“And so it’s going to be a case of two steps forward and one step back, and sometimes that step back is going to be a big one. So patience is the key word.”
In British Columbia, The Weather Network is forecasting a few more storm systems and temperatures averaging below normal, prolonging the cold and snowy winter the province has seen. More precipitation than normal is expected in southern and central B.C.
With snowpack already in place and additional alpine snow and cooler temperatures expected, Scott said this is a great year for spring skiing in B.C.
The cooler temperatures and above-normal precipitation will also likely delay the start of fire season in British Columbia, Scott noted.
In the Prairies, The Weather Network is forecasting a heightened potential for turbulent temperatures across the region.
Near-normal precipitation totals are expected for most areas, but the forecaster is monitoring southern Alberta, where soil moisture is currently well below normal ahead of another growing season.
Scott said there is an increased risk for spring flooding across southern Manitoba, where there has been more snow on the ground than normal, but it’s too soon to tell if there will be flooding for sure.
The weather is tipping towards colder than normal north of the Yellowhead Highway in Alberta and Saskatchewan, he added.
In Ontario and Quebec, The Weather Network is anticipating early tastes of warm spring weather, with periods of very warm weather as the season progresses, but Scott said residents should expect to see some “back and forth” between warm and cold weather before things start to settle down heading into the latter part of April into May.
Above-normal precipitation is expected in Ontario and southern Quebec, Scott said.
In Atlantic Canada, The Weather Network is predicting a more typical weather pattern this spring, with near-normal temperatures in most of the region and above-normal temperatures expected in southwest Nova Scotia. Scott said below-normal temperatures are expected across parts of Labrador.
Above normal precipitation is anticipated across the Atlantic region, as well as a heightened risk for late season winter storms.
In northern Canada, Scott said below-normal temperatures are expected for most of Yukon and the Northwest Territories, while near-normal temperatures are expected for most of Nunavut.
“I think this forecast, relative to some springs where we expect, you know, warmth, and you look at historically, we are in a warming world, this spring has a little bit of a ‘winter strikes back’ theme,” Scott said.
“It’s not going to be a spring that all of a sudden is upon us the third week of March, and everyone celebrates because the calendar says spring. Mother Nature has some different ideas in mind, so just be patient.”
— Noushin Ziafati, The Canadian Press