Wiarton Willie predicted an early start to spring. He was wrong.
Shubenacadie Sam predicted six more weeks of winter. He, too, was wrong.
We’re now more than 12 weeks past Groundhog Day, and most parts of Canada are still dealing with weather that doesn’t seem particularly spring-like – and in some cases still feels more like winter.
“There’s no question there’s a big gap between what we want to see and what we’ve seen,” Doug Gillham, forecast centre manager at The Weather Network, told CTV News Channel Wednesday.
That’s putting it mildly – no pun intended. From frost to ice, Canadians haven’t yet been able to put away their parkas and gloves for good. Miami, Man., even received a 13-centimetre dumping of snow earlier this week.
On Wednesday, the first day of May, communities from Quebec to the B.C. interior were experiencing temperatures several degrees below their seasonal averages. Freezing rain warnings were in place for parts of northern and central Ontario, as well as the area around the Laurentians in Quebec. Below-freezing temperatures were expected overnight in Calgary and Edmonton, with Ottawa and Winnipeg only narrowly escaping similar forecasts.
Add it all up, and it’s hardly the kind of weather Canadians like to see less than three weeks before Victoria Day. But while the temperatures experienced are colder than normal for early May, they’re not unheard of – and neither is a sudden warm-up in advance of the long weekend.
“Years that had similar global pattern, that had a cold April and a cold start to May, typically that pattern flips during the second half of May and it’s like you have sudden summer,” Gillham said.
Although it is difficult to predict conditions this far out, Gillham said models are thus far not suggesting that sort of abrupt transition occurring anytime soon.
“In the next two weeks, we do not see consistent warmth east of the Rockies,” he said.
“We may continue to struggle to get any consistent warmth through much of the month of May, but I hope I’m wrong.”
Any Canadians looking to experience warmer weather without leaving the country might want to consider heading south – or north.
Victoria, B.C., had a forecast high of 17 C on Wednesday, while Sarnia, Ont., was the country’s afternoon hotspot with a recorded high temperature of 18.5 C. A temperature of 18 C was also recorded for the second straight day in Haines Junction, Yukon.