When will spring arrive? The Weather Network expects longer winter conditions for most


Most Canadians will need to wait a bit longer for spring to arrive as this year’s winter weather continues over the next couple of months, according to the latest seasonal forecast from The Weather Network.

The Weather Network’s spring outlook from senior meteorologist Doug Gillham, published on Wednesday, says despite temperatures being well-above normal to start the year, the majority of Canadians will need to wait before warm weather stays consistent in the coming months.

“While winter lacked commitment this year, with episodes of severe winter weather followed by extended periods of early spring-like weather, it appears that winter will attempt to make up for lost time during March and even into April,” the report says.

“Several more rounds of wintry weather are expected across the country before spring finally hits its stride.”

Most of Canada should expect near- or below-normal temperatures for the season, with some regions experiencing extended cold periods this month and into April.

The Weather Network says a fading three-year-long La Nina in the Pacific Ocean, which is normally associated with cooler than normal ocean temperatures near the equator and west of South America, is driving the forecast.

An El Nino, or warming of surface water in the eastern Pacific Ocean, may occur later this year.

In January, the United Nations reported that the cooling effect of this three-year-long La Nina prevented 2022 from being the warmest on record, although it was still the eighth straight year that global temperatures rose at least 1 C above pre-industrial levels.

Gillham writes that a fading La Nina often means a “sluggish spring,” especially in Western Canada.

As CTV’s Your Morning chief meteorologist Kelsey McEwen explained on Wednesday, the first month of spring should feel a lot like winter — March 1 is considered the start of spring by meteorologists, she says, unlike the start of astronomical spring which comes on March 20 in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Weather Network also expects the polar vortex to be more “displaced,” which Gillham says should deliver colder than normal temperatures in March and April.

Altogether, he says this creates “a recipe for active and stormy weather,” with most of Canada seeing near- or above-normal precipitation this spring.

“However, while it is inevitable that there will be parts of the country that are often missed by the spring storms and end up dry, the long-range signals are not strong enough to specifically identify those areas just yet,” Gillham writes.

“The Prairies are one area that we will be watching closely, especially since parts of the region are experiencing a multi-year drought. Receiving adequate spring precipitation across this region will be critical to a successful agricultural season.”


Broken down by region, the southern coast of B.C., which typically is the first to see a consistent spring, should have a slower than normal start to the season, the forecast says.

But the cooler weather and slightly above-normal precipitation, including heavy snow in alpine regions, could mean a longer spring ski season and reduced risk of an early fire season, Gillham says.

Alberta may experience a more “wintry” March and April, with the southwestern region of the province potentially seeing more precipitation than normal.

Spring could mean better soil conditions, but the province still needs enough precipitation over the next three months to replenish its groundwater following a multi-year drought, Gillham says.

March and April could feel more like winter in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the forecast says, although spring flooding shouldn’t be a major concern across either province’s southern regions due to near- or below-normal snowfall.

However, spring is expected to be drier compared to last year, especially in southern Manitoba, the forecast predicts.

Ontario and Quebec will experience “several bouts” of winter weather, with an active storm track expected across the southern parts of both provinces through to April at least, the report says. The flood risk remains low, but could increase depending on the snowfall in March.

Across the Atlantic provinces, there is a heightened risk of late-season winter storms, although temperatures should reach near seasonal levels or warmer, according to The Weather Network.

Above normal temperatures are forecast for northeastern Nunavut, while a colder spring is expected across southern Yukon and southwestern Northwest Territories, the report says.

With files from CTVNews.ca Writer Natasha O’Neill and CTV News Lethbridge Video Journalist Karsen Marczuk

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