The wait is over. AccuWeather’s annual Canada spring forecast is out, and our meteorologists are predicting a strong end to the season for ski resorts across the Canadian Rockies and Ontario.
Meanwhile, the changing of the seasons will promote a wet weather pattern for millions across Ontario and Quebec as well as an elevated flood risk.
Take a look at the complete region-by-region breakdown below:
Strong end to ski season on tap for British Columbia, Canadian Rockies
British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies have faced an onslaught of storms throughout the winter months, but residents south of the Trans-Canadian Highway will see a break from the unsettled pattern heading into spring.
The dominant storm track is expected to shift northward in the coming weeks with the bulk of the rain and snow forecast to fall over northern British Columbia and the northern extent of the Canadian Rockies.
However, ski resorts will continue to reap the benefits of these storms well into the spring.
“Deep snowpack in the Canadian Rockies should lead to an excellent spring ski season,” Anderson said.
Although skiers may celebrate the strong end to the season, the abundance of mountain snow isn’t good news for everyone.
“As the snow melts, the risk of river and stream flooding down into the lower elevations of Alberta and British Columbia will increase during late spring,” Anderson said.
The flood risk may be extended through the end of the spring in areas to the north that face rounds of storms through April and into May.
Rainy pattern to bring flood risk to Ontario, Quebec
Canadians from Toronto to Montreal will be swapping out their snow boots for galoshes earlier than normal this year as the changing of the seasons brings spells of rainy weather.
“A wet spring is shaping up from southern Ontario to southern Quebec and portions of the Maritimes,” AccuWeather Canadian Weather Expert Brett Anderson said. However, there is still a chance of storms to unload snow over the region, especially in March.
“Based on the current outlook, there is an increased risk of flooding through the St. Lawrence Valley region this spring,” Anderson said.
Despite the wet weather, ski resorts across the region have built up enough snow to remain open well into the spring.
“Expect a good spring ski season in Quebec,” Anderson said.
Meanwhile, areas that will face the highest flood risk are those near the shores of the Great Lakes.
“The combination of more storms and abnormally high water levels in the Great Lakes will increase the risk of flooding and beach erosion along many lakeshores,” Anderson said.
The wet pattern, paired with above-average soil temperatures due to a lack of sustained cold, may allow flowers and trees to blossom ahead of schedule, particularly in southeastern Ontario.
Meanwhile, areas farther north, such as Newfoundland and Labrador, can expect the icy grip of winter to remain entrenched across the region through much of the spring.
Dry weather to cause drought concerns in Canadian Prairies
Winter across the Canadian Prairies has not been as brutally cold as years past following only one sustained spell of bone-chilling cold in mid-January.
Heading into the spring, the prospect for another lengthy cold spell remains low.
Overall, a dry and mild season is predicted for much of the region, including Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary.
This dryness could cause some drought concerns ahead of the upcoming growing season.
As of late January, there were pockets of abnormally dry conditions across the Prairies, according to the Canadian Drought Monitor. These areas may expand in the coming months, with the possibility of drought developing later in the spring.
Despite the anticipated dry weather pattern, some residents in Manitoba still face a flood risk.
“There is a moderate risk of major spring flooding along the Red River Valley in Manitoba later this spring as there is a higher-than-normal amount of water frozen up in the underlying soil,“ Anderson said.