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Hold the phone: Winter isn't over yet


March 12, 2013 — Many parts of Canada are seeing a return to warmer weather, but don't get too comfortable -- winter isn't over yet.


2013 Spring Temperature Outlook
2013 Spring Temperature Outlook

Plants are (slowly) starting to bloom, snow is melting, and temperatures are rising.

There's a little over a week before the official start to spring, but don't pack away your winter clothes just yet.

"Even though we have entered "meteorological spring" ... and the vernal equinox is March 20th, we are still very much at risk for winter weather," explains Dayna Vettese, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

"Last year's lack of winter and summer-like spring have given some Canadians a false memory of what spring is really like in Canada, especially in March. During a normal spring, we see winter weather - especially in the month of March- as many Canadians are currently experiencing. Last year we had record-breaking temperatures in March between 20-30 degrees Celsius, but this year we are back to reality. March is actually Calgary's snowiest month according to climate normals. The main idea to take from this is that winter-weather is not in our rear-view mirror, and it is still very much a reality, especially over the next few weeks."

WHAT WILL THE 2013 SPRING SEASON LOOK LIKE? 

While meteorologists at The Weather Network are predicting near normal spring conditions for most of Canada, some regions can expect patterns that fall outside of the normal averages. A milder trend is likely for central and eastern Canada, while much of western Canada will be cooler than normal. See below for provincial and regional breakdowns.  

British Columbia 
Most of British Columbia can expect below normal temperatures this spring, with near normal temperatures forecast for extreme northern BC, the Queen Charlottes and much of Vancouver Island's west coast. Below normal precipitation is expected from central interior BC out through the central coast across northern Vancouver Island and portions of the north coast, with near normal precipitation elsewhere. 

Alberta and Saskatchewan 
Temperatures in northern Alberta and west central Saskatchewan will also be below normal, with near normal temperatures elsewhere.  Near normal precipitation is expected for much of Alberta though wetter than normal conditions are forecast near the border with central Saskatchewan. Above normal precipitation is also likely for northern sections of Saskatchewan south down the western half except for the extreme southwest where normal precipitation is expected as it is for most of the east.

Signs of spring are in the air, but winter isn't over yet (courtesy: Michael Eberwein)
Signs of spring are in the air, but winter isn't over yet (courtesy: Michael Eberwein)

Manitoba  
While temperatures for Manitoba will be near normal, above normal precipitation is forecast for southcentral and southeastern parts of the province with near normal precipitation elsewhere.

Ontario  
Above normal temperatures are forecast across most of southern and eastern Ontario and the southeastern corner of northeastern Ontario as well with near normal temperatures in northcentral and northwestern Ontario. Wetter than normal conditions are likely for the southwestern fringe of northwestern Ontario. Wetter than normal conditions are also expected in extreme southwestern Ontario with near normal precipitation elsewhere. 

Québec  
Temperatures are predicted to be above normal for most areas with near normal temperatures around the Hudson Bay lowlands and the extreme north. Near normal precipitation is forecast across the province.    

Atlantic Canada  
Near normal temperatures are in store for western Newfoundland and eastern parts of PEI and Nova Scotia, while New Brunswick, the Bay of Fundy, western PEI and eastern Newfoundland can expect milder than normal temperatures. Precipitation amounts will be near normal for the entire region.  

Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut  
Below normal temperatures are forecast for portions of the southwestern part of the Northwest Territories, while the central swath of Nunavut can expect above normal conditions. Above normal precipitation is likely in southeastern Northwest Territories and bordering Nunvavut as well as central Baffin Island. Near normal precipitation is forecast elsewhere.


Regional Breakdown – Forecast and Averages
City Temperature Forecast Precipitation Forecast Average Temperatures Average Precipitation
Vancouver Below normal Near normal High 13.2  
Low 5.6
Mean 9.4
266.2 mm
Victoria Below normal Near normal High 13.5
Low 4.4
Mean 9
159 mm
Calgary Near normal Near normal High 10.6  
Low -2.3 
Mean 4.2
101.6 mm
Edmonton Near normal Near normal High 10.3  
Low -0.6  
Mean 3.2
91.6 mm
Regina Near normal Near normal High 10 
Low -2.6  
Mean 3.7
95.3 mm
Saskatoon Near normal Above normal High 9.4  
Low -2.8  
Mean 3.3
88 mm
Winnipeg Near normal Above normal High 9.5  
Low -2.9  
Mean 3.3
112.2 mm
Thunder Bay Near normal Near normal High 8.7 
Low -4 
Mean 2.3
149.6 mm
Sudbury Above normal Near normal High 8.5
Low -2.4
Mean 3.1
208.3 mm
Ottawa Above normal Near normal High 10.7  
Low 0.4  
Mean 5.6
225.3 mm
Toronto Above normal Near normal High 11.5  
Low 3.9  
Mean 7.7
209 mm
Windsor Near normal Above normal High 13.4
Low 3.3
Mean 8.4
240.9 mm
Montreal Above normal Near normal High 10.6  
Low 0.5
Mean 5.6
227.9 mm
Fredericton Above normal Near normal High 9.9  
Low -1.0  
Mean 4.5
278.2 mm
Moncton Above normal Near normal High 9.3
Low -1.1
Mean 4.1
291.6 mm
Charlottetown Above normal Near normal High 7.2  
Low -1.5 
Mean 2.9
277.3 mm
Halifax Near normal Near normal High 8.7  
Low 0.7 
Mean 4.7
374.9 mm
St. John's Above normal Near normal High 5.7  
Low -2.2  
Mean 1.7
353.5 mm
Iqaluit Near normal Near normal High -9.9 
Low -18.7  
Mean -14.3
76.9 mm
Yellowknife Near normal Near normal High -0.1  
Low -11.3  
Mean -5.7
43.3 mm
Whitehorse Near normal Near normal High 6.2  
Low -5.4  
Mean 0.4
32.6 mm

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