Although Burns Lake residents endured below normal temperatures last week, that is not expected to be the trend for the next three months, according to Environment Canada.
Alyssa Charbonneau, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said that although temperatures dipped into the negative double-digits last week, temperatures are expected to remain near normal this spring, which starts Monday. Normal temperatures for this time of the year in Burns Lake are a high of plus 4 C and a low of -6 C.
“This warming trend [which started last Sunday] is going to continue,” said Charbonneau. “We will see spring-like conditions after mid-March.”
Environment Canada’s seasonal forecast is predicting near normal temperatures this spring for much of the province except for the areas near the Yukon border, where below normal temperatures are expected.
La Niña conditions – which bring cooler temperatures – that were present at the beginning of winter have now ended. Neutral conditions are expected through the spring of 2017, with the potential for El Niño conditions – which bring warmer temperatures – into the summer-fall period.
According to Brett Anderson, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, the first half of the spring is expected to remain wet across British Columbia with additional opportunities for heavy snowfall in the mountains through April. A drier pattern should take hold for the second half of the spring.
The Weather Network points out that the ‘classic winter’ called for the 2016/17 season was particularly true in B.C., where Arctic air and frequent storms brought impactful snow even to typically mild locations like Vancouver and Victoria, while in the mountains of B.C., snowfall was measured in meters.
According to The Weather Network, most of Canada will see a sluggish start and a strong finish to the spring season. This is in contrast to last year in which March was very mild across most of Canada, but followed by an extended period of well-below normal temperatures from the Great Lakes to the Maritimes during April and early May.
The B.C. River Forecast Centre (BCRFC) says below normal snowpack in the northwest indicate the potential for increased risk of low flows this summer.
“With six to eight weeks remaining in the snow accumulation season, changes to the seasonal runoff outlook are possible, but at this stage would require extremely wet or cool conditions to make a significant impact on seasonal flood risk,” says the BCRFC’s latest snow survey and water supply bulletin.