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A snowy start to the spring season


Staff writers
March 20, 2013 — Wednesday, March 20th marks the official start of spring, although it may not feel like it in many parts of the country.


Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner (courtesy: Samantha Hornell)
Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner (courtesy: Samantha Hornell)

Believe it or not, the vernal equinox, and the official start of the spring season, arrives on Wednesday, March 20th.

For many Canadians, mild temperatures and blooming flowers seem like a distant memory, rather than a sign of things to come: storm after storm has left many places blanketed with snow.

The Prairie provinces continue to clean up from not one, but two, clippers that prompted parking bans and school closures.

Ontario and Quebec have seen ice pellets, freezing rain and strong windsthis week, and the Maritimes are in the midst of yet another snow storm.

On the day of the vernal equinox, the sun crosses the equator and starts to take a higher position over the northern hemisphere -- providing us with approximately equal amounts of daylight and darkness.

The days will continue get longer, due to the sun's higher position in the northern hemisphere. This will last until the summer solstice on June 21st.

But warm temperatures may still be a ways off.

Despite the snow, there are still some signs of spring (courtesy: Katherine Fleming)
Despite the snow, there are still some signs of spring (courtesy: Katherine Fleming)

"Put simply, Wiarton Willie was wrong," says Brian Dillon, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. Willie the groundhog predicted an early spring this year, even as parts of Ontario battled intense snowsqualls.

"Since groundhog day, we've had a series of cold lows and snow. While there have been mild days here and there, the past few weeks have largely been cool and cold."

The cold weather is expected to linger at least for another week.

With the exception of Vancouver, many communities across the country are experiencing temperatures between 5C and 10C below average -- so bundle up.

It's cold out there, regardless of what the calendar says.

Visit the Alerts section of the website to keep on top of current watches and warnings.

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