The Environment Canada forecast is grey and cool for the week but things are looking up for the weekend — so far.

This lousy weather is actually fairly normal

March and April usually Red Deer’s snowiest months

Spring — everyone is ready for it, so what’s the delay?

Wet, cool and windy weather for much of April in Central Alberta has golfers, tanners, cyclists, walkers, gardeners, skateboarders, dog walkers — actually anyone who likes the outdoors — anxiously waiting for some extended decent weather.

And of course, the weather watch and preparations for May long weekend now less than a month away is underway, with holiday trailers popping up on driveways and streets like perennials.

The truth is, March and April are normally the months with the most snow in Red Deer, Environment Canada meteorologist Kirk Torneby said Monday.

Both months are tied for the most number of occurrences of 10 cm of snow in a single day. “They are the snowiest months of the year,” he said.

Despite the grey skies and snow-rain-snow pattern, the spring weather is not all that much out of the ordinary. Red Deer has been a little bit colder than normal, but not a lot, Torneby said.

The mean temperature in March was -5C, and the 30-year normal is -3.7C. March 2017 was the 48th coldest on record.

As for April so far, up to Sunday, the mean temperature was 3.1C and the normal is 4.3C, making it the 40th coldest on record. May will hopefully see things improve as the temperature starts to pick up quite a bit, with the average being 9.7C.

Precipitation for March was 19.6 mm of water equivalent (rain and/or snow). The normal is 19 mm. It’s the 37th wettest March on record.

For the past 30 days or so it’s actually been fairly dry in southeast Alberta and east of Hwy 2, Torneby said. Red Deer is in the middle of this and seeing near-normal precipitation. For April, normal precipitation is 24.8 mm.

As for the May long weekend, it’s too early to say but “I think we all know what happens,” Torneby said, referring to the first big camping weekend of the season often involving snowfall in Alberta.

The seasonal outlook has been waffling a little bit, but showing a more near-normal temperature pattern for most of the Prairies for the next three months, he said.

barr@bprda.wpengine.com

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