Bye, Bye Winter. Hello Spring!

April, May, and June should be warmer than usual, but not without some snow

After what seemed like a long, cold winter, spring arrives at 11:33 a.m. Sunday.

Actually, winter was not far off the norm. Environment Canada’s Chief Climatologist, David Phillips, says the Barrie area received 236 centimetres of snow, which is normal. And the average temperature was just a third of a degree colder than usual. The reason it might have seemed worse is the cold came in long stretches; and there was no January thaw, so the snow stuck around.

As for spring, Phillips says it’s the transition season, which makes it hard to describe, “It’s the mud season. It’s the flood season. I mean, it’s one of those where you have two steps forward and one step back. All of the clothes that you own are right at the front of the closet. It switches back and forth.”

“In 33 years of Aprils, we’ve only had one April without snow. So I’d bet the family farm on the fact that we’re going to get some”

We got a taste of that last week when the temperature climbed into the middle teens on St Patrick’s Day. Yet, it came with a reminder from Phillips, that winter is often reluctant to let go quickly. He notes from the first day of spring to June, we typically get an average of 28 centimetres of snow — 10 or 11 per cent of our annual total. “So we haven’t finished shovelling, plowing, and pushing.”

And Phillips remembers one March, in particular, about ten years ago.

“I remember people not swimming in the water, but sunbathing on the beach. The garden centres were packed. The farmers were out in their fields. Golf courses were crowded. And then the frost came. We had about 10 days in late March, April, where you had killing frost and the apple industry in this part of Ontario lost $200 million. It was devastating.”

So, it can be a fickle season. But here’s the good news, the computer models suggest that once we get past March, the April, May, and June period will be warmer than usual.

Fingers crossed.