May will become March as polar vortex pays a visit through the weekend

This cold snap will have legs and could be record-breaking

The polar vortex that was missing during the winter time said David Phillips, Environment Canada Senior Climatologist, is going to make an appearance beginning Friday and deepen into Saturday.

“This air is going to come from the Arctic. It’s really driven by the polar vortex, that scourge we hear about sometimes in the winter. It’s there all the time. It usually stays put. Sometimes it weakens and when it weakens it spills down going south and can affect the weather.”

At this time of the year, Phillips said if the polar vortex does come south it typically doesn’t last very long and is a one or two day wonder.

“I think what’s exceptional about this particular bout of polar vortex weather is that it’s going to have legs, it’s going to last for almost two weeks. We’re going to have to go beyond the long weekend in May to find some southerly air to bring up the temperatures that would be closer to seasonable this time of year.”

Seasonable in the Barrie-area is 17 degrees and four degrees at night. Friday through Mother’s Day will see daytime temperatures just two to four degrees above freezing.

“I mean, come on. This is more like early March and not early May.”

Phillips expects there will be some snow for Mother’s Day weekend. There might not be accumulation but there will be flakes in the air. He said 45-50 per cent of Mays have snow, usually just trace amounts. Phillips said there has been snow on Mother’s Day in the past. He can remember on three occasions including 2013 when the Barrie-area got eight cm.

“The look and feel to Mother’s Day will be disappointing to most.”