After a bitterly cold, and record-setting February, things are starting to look up for the month of March. The forecast for the weekend has temperatures ranging from -3° to -8° on Sunday. After that, the possibility of temperatures actually climbing above 0°.
Terri Lang is a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. She said after the cold February, things are starting to feel a little warmer than even ten days ago.
“If you stand in the sun, without any wind, there’s heat; the sun has heat to it,” Lang explained. “We’re getting there, but the atmosphere kind of has to get going and allow that milder air to come in and it does look like that's on its way, finally.”
The driving force behind much of the weather in the winter for Saskatchewan comes from the Pacific Ocean and is usually driven by El Nino. Lang pointed out this year there was an El Nino system present, but it wasn’t a very strong one, which could be one of the factors for the cold February we saw. It is also making things difficult for long term forecasting.
“As everything sort of hashes out over the next three months, their looking for more of a below normal spring,” Lang said. “Precipitation-wise they’re kind of going equal chance. It could be wet, it could be drier.”
With the cooler than normal spring expected, it could have some impacts as time goes on with the spring run-off.
The recent forecast from the Water Security Agency, based on the current snowpack in southeast Saskatchewan, is calling for a below-normal run-off, but snowfall between now and the end of the spring melt could change the outlook in the coming weeks.