Monthly outlook: Expect this March to be 'truly Canadian'

Dr. Doug Gillham
·2 min read
Monthly outlook: Expect this March to be 'truly Canadian'
Monthly outlook: Expect this March to be 'truly Canadian'

Are we finished with seeing winter weather? This is a question that I have been asked numerous times over the past week. For most, friendly reminders that we live in Canada and that it’s still early March answers the question.

Visit our Complete Guide to Spring 2021 for an in-depth look at the Spring Forecast, tips to plan for it and much more!

While the back of winter has indeed been broken, and there are no signs of sustained or severe cold in sight, any warm weather this time of year should always be savoured. A few parting shots from winter should always be expected during March and April (and sometimes May) before winter finally surrenders, and it is unlikely this year will be any different.

Here is a look at our current pattern, which will continue through the weekend. Colder than seasonal temperatures are found from the Great Lakes to Atlantic Canada. In fact, Atlantic Canada and Quebec are currently in the grips of a rather wintry pattern after one of the warmest winters on record across that region.

MarchNow 2021
MarchNow 2021

Meanwhile, very warm weather is found across the Prairies with temperatures more typical of April and even early May. This is a dramatic contrast to the frigid February pattern that was endured across this region.

MUST SEE: Impressive weekend warm-up spans the Prairies

Looking ahead to the second week of March, the warm spring-like weather will spread east from the Prairies into Ontario, Quebec and eventually into Atlantic Canada. Meanwhile, more seasonal temperatures will return to the Prairies and seasonal temperatures are also expected for B.C. with an extended period of dry weather.

EarlyMarch 2021
EarlyMarch 2021

The warmer spring-like weather across eastern Canada will only last for a few days, and we will also see windy conditions and eventually some rain to go along with the mild temperatures.

As we look ahead to mid and late March, it looks like we will see a more typical and changeable pattern across Canada. This is in contrast to the first 10 weeks of 2021, which have featured strong blocking in the atmosphere and extended periods of consistently mild or consistently cold weather.

expectationreality
expectationreality

Of course, a typical changeable pattern during March includes a risk for shots of wintry weather. The one possible exception is near sea level for the South Coast of B.C. where snow during March is less common.

While the blocking pattern could return again before the end of March or during early April, it looks like the temperature anomalies for the month as a whole will be primarily driven by what happens during the first half of the month.

March 2021
March 2021