Despite the arrival of spring this week, Waterloo Region residents shouldn’t put away their snow shovels and winter tires just yet, Environment Canada advises.
“It looks like overall we’re expected to have a little bit more precipitation than usual to finish off March and for the first part of April,” said meteorologist Geoff Coulson, noting that temperatures will also be a little cooler than normal for the end of the month into the beginning of the next one.
“That may also mean more possibility of mixed precipitation of rain and snow to finish off March and maybe even into the first part of April.”
Overall the amount of snow the region saw during winter was below average, explained Coulson.
“It was actually below average by a fair amount until this month where we actually got a lot more snow than usual for March, and the month isn’t over yet. And we’ve already reported about 40 centimetres in the area and the long term average snowfall for the whole month of March is 20 centimetres. So we’re double that long term average with still over a week to go for the end of the month in terms of totals for the whole winter. The area reported 122 centimetres of snow, and normal snowfall for a whole winter is 134.4 centimetres.”
However, residents will not have to wait long to enjoy spring temperatures.
“I think it’s a pretty standard spring…we know the days are getting longer the sun is getting stronger and has a lot of potential for temperature variability at this time of year so you can be relatively cool one day and yet much warmer on another day. Our warmest day of the next week or so looks to be Thursday where we’re going to get up to a mild high of 13, but along with that mild air will also be coming clouds and some showers,” he said.
For farmers, there is nothing to suggest there could be any significant consequences, Coulson said, noting longer-term forecasts are harder to predict.
“[For] each crop, there’s different dependencies on the amount of moisture and sunshine they require. … They’re reliant on weather, and that’s something that we can forecast better in the shorter timeframe – seven or eight days into the future. Certainly, that’s something that the agricultural community is quite familiar with,” he said.
Coulson has good news for those hoping for a precipitation-free day on April 1 when the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival returns for its first full event since 2019.
“We can even see a day like today [March 20]. Five degrees, lots of sunshine, the more seasonal type of day, but we will definitely see days like that in the next week and a half with sunshine and temperatures around seasonal value. So there is still a good chance that the weather could be amenable on the day.”