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Cooler spring weather may be a boon to stay-at-home efforts

The below-seasonal temperatures – and smattering of snow – seen in the last week are part of a downward revision in the spring forecast.

Where it has previously forecasted a milder-than-normal spring, Environment Canada is now calling for the season to be cooler.

Although March was 3 degrees milder than average, senior climatologist David Phillips is expecting the trend to be cooler.

“[Back in March], we thought conditions would be perhaps milder than normal in [the] area.”

Phillips explained that there was less snowfall in March as well as some days that went up to nearly 21 degrees Celsius, signs that most may feel would hint toward a milder spring throughout the whole season.

“At the beginning of March, there was times where it reached negative-17. But overall, the month was warmer than normal.”

Moving on to April, Phillips described it as the “the cruel month,” to paraphrase late Dylan Thomas.

“No matter how mild winter is … we think that at this time we should be playing with muck in the backyard, getting the golf clubs out and seeing the rebirth of vegetation,” he said.

Phillips explained that this isn’t always the case, although the month may offer up summer-like days, it can also display the ruminants of the season prior, winter.

“It’s a month where you do get some violent weather because of the warm meeting the cold,” he explained.

The weather the region is generally on par with past springs – “Warmer than normal, with less precipitation and certainly less snow and … temperatures reaching 20 degrees Celsius.”

This week’s weather indicated the shift away from that, however.

On the upside, there have been some benefits, he suggests.

For maple syrup producers, temperatures on the plus side during the day and below freezing overnight have been ideal for keeping the sap running. That said, measures to slow the COVID-19 virus have slowed down the industry, as it has so many others.

“Hunkered down and [not] getting out to the sugar bush [has] been an economic collapse,” said Phillips.

Moderate temperatures and light snow cover have combined to reduce the flooding often seen in April.

“The warmer melting during the day freezing [at night] has allowed the water to move fairly quickly through streams.”

As most people are currently stuck inside in an attempt to plank the curve, the season is perfect for doing so, Phillips said.

“It would almost be cruel if we had summer-like temperatures,” he noted, adding the current weather is beneficial in aiding a safe recovery through the pandemic.

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