Here's why you should brace for one last winter blast
Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017 12:33PM EST
Dave Phillips has one message that may dampen Canadians’ spirits amid record-breaking warm temperatures: “Don’t put away the snow shovel quite yet.”
Environment Canada’s senior climatologist says, while March may have entered like a lamb, it doesn’t preclude it from leaving like a lion.
Much of the country is still basking in the warmth of a record-breaking stretch of above-seasonal temperatures in February.
Temperatures in rainy Toronto were at 12 C Wednesday morning, with the high expected to reach 16 C.
“This is another record-breaking day today,” Phillips said in a CTV News Channel interview in Toronto. “I think it came in like grilled lamb chops.”
Phillips said the city had “already broken” a warm temperature record for March 1 by noon, “But it really has just been a continuation of what we saw in February.”
In parts of Ontario, including Toronto, London, Windsor and Hamilton, it was the “warmest February on record by a long-shot in some cases,” Phillips said, adding the weather was more akin to May temperatures.
Though it was balmy in parts of Ontario and Quebec cities in British Columbia experienced the coldest winter in 25 years.
“You could take all of the snow in the previous five years, and they still had more snow this particular winter,” Phillips said, adding B.C. had more snow than Edmonton, Saskatchewan and parts of Ontario.
“So they’re crying uncle, they’re saying they’ve had too much winter and they want it to end,” Phillips said.
In the Maritimes it was “a little warmer than normal,” but many cities were hit with lots of snow and blizzards, “so they’ve had their cross to bear this winter so far.”
So, while it feels like spring has sprung in Ontario and Quebec, sometimes the season actually “takes its sweet time,” Phillips warned.
“I think we may have to go through some wintry-like weather before we get to that warmer than normal,” Phillips said.
“Typically … 20 or 30 per cent of our annual snowfall occurs after the first of March, so my sense is, it’s coming. We’ll have to be patient before we start drinking beer on outside patios.”