Red Deerians can expect a colder than normal March and more snow to shovel.
Kyle Fougere, meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the average day time high for March is 0 C but the high will dip down to -12 C by Sunday before warming up to about -7 C by next Thursday.
The normal night time low is -11 C, but the low will be stuck in the -15 C range next week.
“There’s no clear signal that the first three weeks are going to be really warming up much,” Fougere said.
He said extremely cold air outbreaks can definitely happen in March, but there’s no strong signal that in the near future such a system will push down from the arctic.
“We’re going to be trending towards normal towards the end of March.”
He said February was also colder than normal even though there was a long mild spell before temperatures dropped at the end of the month.
Preliminary statistics also indicate the winter season was colder than normal.
“It was above normal for a really long extended period of time but we had such a cold start to December and such a cold finish to February that when you look at the stats for the winter it was actually colder than normal.”
He said while the official precipitation forecast is that March, April and May will be drier than normal, the fact that March is generally the snowiest month for Red Deer, there’s definitely the likelihood of more snow to come. The official precipitation forecast is also not as definitive.
Red Deer’s average snowfall in March is over 20 cm. April gets an average of 14 cm, and in May the average is 9 cm.
This weekend, snow is in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
Fougere said for now it’s too hard to forecast what June, July and August have in store for Red Deer.
“It’s too early to know what the summer is going to be like. We will definitely wait and see what precipitates in the changes in the La Nina (cooling oceanic conditions) and the spring we’re about to experience.”
But for those who can’t wait, the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting broiling temperatures for the Prairies and above-average precipitation this summer.