'A lot of misery': Climatologist says no break from winter's wrath anytime soon
Whether you’re shivering through record-breaking cold on the Prairies or watching the temperature move around like a yo-yo in southern Ontario, you may be relieved to learn that winter is more than halfway over.
That, however, could be all the relief you’re going to get.
Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CTV News Channel Thursday that chillier-than-average temperatures are expected to continue through the end of the month in many parts of the country.
“I think there’s a lot of misery across the country,” he said.
Temperatures in Saskatoon bottomed out at -42.6 C on Wednesday – the coldest the city had experienced in about 15 years, according to Phillips, and the coldest it had seen on a Feb. 6 since record-keeping began in 1900.
All-time cold records for Feb. 6 were also set in many other Saskatchewan communities, as well as parts of Alberta and British Columbia.
Many parts of the Prairies have been experiencing temperatures up to 25 degrees colder than normal for most of the week, and colder-than-usual conditions for longer than that.
“It’s been going now for maybe three weeks,” Phillips said.
“People are just saying ‘enough’s enough.’”
Forecasts suggest an end to the Prairie deep freeze is still several days away. Environment Canada is predicting that Saskatoon will move above -20 C next Tuesday for the first time since Feb. 2.
Temperatures aren’t nearly as cold in Central Canada and the Maritimes. Southern Ontario and Quebec were expected to see more than 24 hours of freezing rain or similar precipitation, but warmer-than-expected weather meant a good deal of that precipitation was likely to fall as rain instead.
People in Toronto could be forgiven for not knowing what to expect from their weather, given the city has seen two days with highs above 10 C and two days with lows below -18 C since Jan. 31.
“This has really been truly a mixed bag – almost as if we’ve had four seasons in two days,” Phillips said.
The Ontario capital was under a freezing drizzle advisory Thursday morning, with freezing drizzle or rain expected to change over into rain later in the day. With temperatures settling back in below freezing, snow was in the forecast for Friday.
The system that had been dumping precipitation on southern Ontario since Wednesday morning was making its way east. Temperatures were expected to be warm enough in Montreal for freezing drizzle to become rain by Thursday morning and into Friday morning.
The situation appeared dicier in New Brunswick, where ice pellets, snow and freezing rain were all expected to fall starting late Thursday night before changing over to rain Friday morning. Forecasts for Nova Scotia were calling for possible freezing drizzle during the day Thursday and at night, followed by a brief period of freezing rain and then steady rain on Friday.