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Winter's impact on the spring season in Quebec and Atlantic Canada

Staff writers
March 5, 2012 — It was a slow start to winter in Atlantic Canada and unseasonably warm in parts of Quebec. We set out to determine winter's impact on the spring season ahead.

Atlantic Canada's tick season may have lasted longer due to a lack of cold weather
Atlantic Canada's tick season may have lasted longer due to a lack of cold weather

According to Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network, it was a slow start to winter in the Atlantic provinces.

"We didn’t see much snow. We saw mild temperatures and a lot of rain which is fairly uncharacteristic, but what we’ve noticed in the past while is that we’ve had a lot of storms," notes Vettese. "And there are some storms waiting in the wings as well, so we can’t write off winter for the Atlantic provinces.”

When we asked viewers in Atlantic Canada their opinion on how the winter might impact the spring and summer, one of the biggest areas of concern has been the bugs.

Jeff Ogden is with the Department of Natural Resources in Nova Scotia. He told us that because the cold air took its time settling in this year, black-legged ticks stayed active much longer.

"As soon as it gets above 4°C for more than two or three days the ticks become active," he says, "So the tick season likely lasted longer this year because we didn’t have the cold weather."

Still, Ogden says there may be a positive side effect when it comes to bugs this spring.

"We shouldn’t have as many snow melt puddles this year, so spring populations of mosquitos might be down a bit, which, for us hikers, is a good thing.”

Spring precipitation forecasts across the country
Spring precipitation forecasts across the country

An unseasonably warm winter in the Montreal area has helped maple syrup season get off to an early start. As long as these mild days and cold nights continue, maple syrup providers can anticipate a lengthened season.

It's not time to start tapping in New Brunswick just yet though.

"I don’t think it’s going to start real early because we have some frost in with good ground cover on it. So it should hold until the proper time this year," says Brent Trites, maple syrup producer in New Brunswick.

"If we get the cycle in sugar-making season, we may have a decent year.”

For a closer look at what this spring could hold, check out the 2012 Spring Outlook.

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