The end of March is a time of year when we are usually enjoying temperatures well above the freezing mark, the snow pack melting, or even completely gone.  

Last year at this time, we were looking at temperatures of 5.5° during the day and an overnight low of -8°. Fast forward a year, and we are seeing temperatures that are well below normal. 

Terri Lang is a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. She explained that the atmospheric rivers that are causing record amounts of precipitation in California and the development of thunderstorms in the southeastern United States are part of the reason why we are experiencing such colder temperatures here in southeast Saskatchewan. This is due to the positioning of the jet stream, which is winds that blow from west to east and follow the boundaries between hot and cold air.  

“That puts us well north of that jet stream, and well into that deep cold Arctic air that doesn’t seem to want to go away,” Lang said. 

The overnight and early morning temperatures we have seen over the past 2-3 days have been pretty close to setting new records. Lang pointed out that the temperatures we have been seeing are the coldest for this time of year in nearly 60 years. 

“We got close to a record this morning,” Land said Monday. “The record from 1964 is -25°, and it got as cold as -24.7°.” 

So what are the seasonal temperatures for this time of year? The average daytime high for the end of March/start of April is 6°, and the average overnight low is -6°. With temperatures well below those marks over the next few days, things will definitely be a lot colder than normal. 

We may not be out of the woods yet when it comes to a new record overnight low, either. The record for the coldest temperature ever recorded on March 28th is -25.6°. The current forecast for Monday night/Tuesday morning is for a low of -21°.  

By the weekend, however, temperatures are expected to start to warm up somewhat, which is promising for those who are looking for an end to the winter. Environment Canada is calling for a daytime high of +5° on Saturday. Given that is also April 1st, those who are longing for warmer temperatures are hoping it isn’t an April Fools’ joke.