Winter returns to Central Canada in April, the cruellest month
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:18AM EDT
Winter is having one last hurrah in central Canada, but it should be gone for good by the end of the week, forecasters say.
Although temperatures hit 20 Celsius and above under sunny skies on Sunday and Monday, residents in much of Ontario woke up to freezing rain and wet snow on Tuesday.
Environment Canada issued special weather statements for most of southern Ontario early Tuesday morning, warning that an Arctic cold front will sweep through the region Tuesday, bringing sub-zero temperatures, freezing rain and ice pellets, and anywhere from five to 15 centimetres of snow.
“Driving conditions will deteriorate quickly as the freezing precipitation and snow move in. Motorists should be prepared for hazardous winter driving conditions due to low visibility in areas of heavier snow, and accumulating snow on untreated roads,” the federal agency said.
The good news is the snow will be gone by week’s end.
“Winter's Victory will be only temporary, as temperatures will moderate back up closer to normal by the end of the week,” the agency said.
Environment Canada also issued rainfall warnings for parts of southern Quebec and the Maritimes, calling for between 25 and 60 milllimetres of rain through the region. The agency warned of possible flooding in low-lying areas and told residents to stay away from rivers and creeks.
A cold front is also expected to sweep through the region, leading to a severe drop in temperatures, snow and icy conditions.
More seasonal weather is forecast to return by Thursday.
Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada, said the blast of wild weather happens when “warm air dukes it out with cold air.”
“This is April, April they say is the cruellest month,” Phillips told CTV News Channel. “It’s the month where you get winter wanting to hang on and summer wanting to get a foothold.”
Phillips noted that Canadians are tired of snow after many cities, including Toronto, had their coldest winter on record. Winnipeg had its coldest winter in more than 100 years, he said, while about twice the usual amount of snow fell in the Maritimes.
While snow in April is not unusual, he noted, it is rare for temperatures to dip below zero. The good news, he said, “is that winter coming back in April is short-lived. It’s a one-day wonder.”
Temperatures for the rest of April across the country should be “near normal,” he said. And for those worried that the prolonged winter will mean a cold summer, don’t fret, he said. The agency’s models show “no colder-than-normal temperatures in the summer, but in most areas warmer than normal.”