There are still a couple of weeks until the official start of spring; but more often than not, the season gets a bit of an early start in Victoria, BC.
The city has the mildest climate in Canada, with spring temperatures often reaching afternoon highs around 15°C. Every year, throughout the first week of March, residents celebrate the incoming season with the annual Victoria Flower Count.
“The flower count is an opportunity to appreciate the area that we live in, the fact that we do have flowers in late February and early March,” says Bruce Carter, Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “And that we can count, as in past years, as many as 21 billion of them!”
From March 1 to March 7, Victoria residents are encouraged to count their blooms and flowers, and then report them to the event's website. The tradition started back in the 1960's, as members of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce began handing out daffodils to the general public.
Last year, record-breaking temperatures resulted in the highest number of produced flowers. This year, however, the city was city was hit with by an intense snowstorm just days before the start of the event.
Still, Carter says last week's snowstorm hasn't had a major impact on this year's event.
“You know, I think it may have slowed down the blooms a little bit, but we're still out there counting flowers and the blooms are still coming out,” Carter explains. “Right now we don't have any snow on the streets, and the sun is shining!”
Carter adds that there is one more reason why the city of Victoria holds this event each year.
“It's bragging rights! We are the mildest climate in Canada, and I think the point is that we are actually counting flowers while the rest ofthe country is still shovelling out snow or playing pond hockey. We are blessed with a mild climate, and we're going to brag about it!”
Wondering what kind of weather to expect over the next couple of months? Be sure to check The Weather Network's Spring Outlook 2011.