Forecaster says spring temperatures to be delayed in much of Canada

Pedestrians are framed by a canopy of trees as snow falls in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday December 9, 2016. One of Canada's most high-profile weather forecasters says spring will be a little late this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Spring will arrive a little late and showcase rather volatile weather this year, one of Canada's most high-profile forecasters predicted Monday.

In its spring outlook, the Weather Network said temperatures across much of the country will skew colder through March and early April before eventually warming up toward the end of the season.

"Spring tends to be a season where we get a lot of volatility, a lot of ups and downs with our weather, because after all, we're going from winter to summer," said Chief Meteorologist Chris Scott. "It's not a straight line. There's always a bit of a bumpy road to get there."

This year's season will see more swings in weather than usual, he said.

British Columbia in particular will have a cooler spring than usual, Scott said.

"We won't see that kind of early bursting of spring that we sometimes get through the south of B.C.," he said.

The Prairies will also have to contend with temperatures lower than they're used to for March and early April, but that, in combination with minimal snowpack, reduces the risk of flooding during the eventual thaw, Scott said.

Moving east to Ontario and Quebec, Scott said that while temperatures rose in February, they're expected to swing back down over the coming weeks.

"We think that winter has at least one more show to come, maybe even two," he said. "March looks to be an even stormier month than we often see."

Whether those storms come in the form of snow, ice or rain depends entirely on the day, Scott said.

"We can't pin down those details until we get within a week of a given storm system," he added.

Atlantic Canada has had a relatively mild winter thus far — but that could change, Scott said.

"We've hardly seen any snow this winter in St. John's. It's been a very tame winter this year by Newfoundlanders' standards," he said. "This is not over, though. We expect likely the biggest snowstorms yet to come in March and even into April in parts of the region."

He said Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, too, can expect nor'easters.

But in spite of the "bumpy road," Scott said Canadians shouldn't give up the hope of warm temperatures.

"We will get there eventually," he said. "Everyone will get their spring weather."


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