Spring weather not ready to settle in just yet

Bouts of late winter weather are expected for many through March.

John Poon perfectly captured the winter chills in the Okanagan with his camera. Photo courtesy of John Poon

With the majority of Canadians experiencing wild swings in weather this past winter, many are wondering when consistent spring weather will be in the air.

The Weather Network’s meteorologists say in their Spring forecast that despite some unusually warm temperatures currently hitting parts of the country, bouts of late winter weather are expected for many through March. However, much of the country will welcome near or above seasonal temperatures by May.

“We’re entering uncharted territory this spring, making this Spring forecast particularly challenging as the Pacific Ocean water temperature trends are incredibly unique,” said Chris Scott, chief meteorologist at The Weather Network. “The most recent El Niño in 2016 was one of the strongest on record and to have another developing El Niño occur so soon is something we haven’t seen in the past 75 years.”

They forecast that B.C. will have a below normal temperature outlook. Precipitation should be near normal except in the southeastern portions of the province where it will be above normal.

Western Canada will be prone to more frequent dips into late winter weather through March and early April before more typical spring weather sets in. This is good news for skiers and snowboarders who will get to enjoy an extended ski season. Meanwhile, Central and Eastern Canada will be along the battle line between abnormally warm air from the south and late winter cold to the north, setting the stage for an active storm track through spring.

El Niño, characterized by warmer than normal Equatorial Pacific Ocean waters and La Niña, cooler than normal waters in the same area, are major drivers in the overall global weather pattern, no matter the season. This Weather Network meteorologists said this provides for a season with heightened uncertainties since we are still seeing lingering effects from the previous El Niño.