Monday, April 01, 2013

April - the month of transition

Spring has been slow to arrive across most of Canada this year, in stark contrast to 2012. This is a scene from Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan where multiple blizzards and a cold March have left tones of snow. My good friend and Editor of the Gravelbourg Tribune, Paul Boisvert sent me the photo.
April is upon us with all its uncertainty and surprises in a month that can feature raging snowstorms or summer like warmth. We often see out first thunderstorms of the season and more often than not the tulips and trees will begin to sprout. An example of the wide range in weather can be seen by peeking at the record books for April 1. On April 1st, 1986 we had a record high of nearly 26C (79F) while in 1993 we had 31cm (12 inches) of snow. You get the idea.

That being said it does not look very springlike this week. After a rather mild end to a cold March we are looking at a strong Arctic cold front crossing Ontario and Quebec today. Currently Montreal is 4C (39F), which should be our high for the day. The front is crossing eastern Ontario this morning with Ottawa still at 4C (39F) but Toronto down to -1C (30F). Winds will increase out of the west up to 60km/h along with scattered showers and eventually flurries. Some snow squalls may even develop briefly north of the city and across the Adirondacks and western counties of New York. Lake effect snow is also possible around Georgian Bay and south of Watertown, NY.

Temperatures are at there warmest right now than they will be for most of the upcoming week. They will tumble down to around -5 to -7C tonight and only rise to -1 to -3C on Tuesday, a full 6-10 degrees below normal for early April. Unsettled weather is expected for most of the week with scattered flurries likely. We managed to loose lots of snow cover over the past week, especially on south facing properties. My backyard is down to a thin layer, but the front yard still has 1 to 2 foot piles of hard packed, icy snow, the stuff that takes forever to melt. Depending on where you live in metro Montreal you may have nothing left in your neighborhood. On L'Ile Perrot however we don't haul away the snow, we just pile it up. It takes a little longer for spring to come here.

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