stuck During March, Alberta was between two systems, missing the record heat farther east
With record warm weather covering much of Central and Eastern Canada during March and cold weather settling in over the West Coast, most of Alberta experienced a little bit of both. While it might have seemed and felt that March didn’t measure up this year, I think that was just because the regions to the east saw such incredible weather, which made Alberta feel like it was being left out.
When all was said and done for March, both the Edmonton and Calgary regions ended up recording above-average mean monthly temperatures. Edmonton recorded a mean monthly temperature of -2.8 C which was nearly 2 C above the long-term average. This was Edmonton’s fifth month in a row with above-average temperatures. Calgary had a mean monthly temperature of 0.6 C in March, which was 2.5 C above the long-term average. This made March the eighth month in a row with above-average temperatures for Calgary.
Precipitation during March came in right around average for both Edmonton and Calgary, with Edmonton recording 18.7 mm and Calgary reporting 17.6 mm. This is the second month in a row with near- to above-average precipitation, reversing a six-month trend of below-average precipitation.
Over much of agricultural Alberta, March could best be described as fairly steady or persistent. The weather patterns during the month didn’t change much, with Alberta basically stuck between two very different weather patterns. That doesn’t mean that the day-to-day weather didn’t change. Short periods of nice warm weather were replaced by short periods of cooler weather as the two patterns battled it out. This allowed for a fair number of storm systems to track through Alberta, resulting in the average to above-average precipitation.
Outlook for the spring
The question that seems to be on a lot of people’s minds is whether Alberta will see the above-average temperatures continue into spring and will they be accompanied by dry or wet conditions?
According to Environment Canada, April will see average temperatures over all of Alberta. The average conditions will then transition to above-average temperatures over southern regions in May, with near-average temperatures continuing in the more northern regions.
It does look like it will be a fairly dry spring, according to Environment Canada, as they are calling for below-average amounts of precipitation over southern and western regions, with only the northeast seeing near-average amounts.
Over at the Old Farmer’s Almanac, they are still singing from the same songbook and are calling for below-average temperatures. They have been calling for this over the last five months and have yet to get it right. They are also calling for below-average precipitation. The Canadian Farmers’ Almanac appears to be calling for near- to below-average temperatures, with above-average precipitation. They mention stormy and showery conditions several times in both April and May, along with the terms pleasant and cold a couple of times.
Finally, here at Alberta Farmer, I am calling for average to above-average temperatures to continue into spring. The current medium-range weather models have been jumping back and forth between mild weather moving in and a cold snap breaking out. Lately the models have been leaning more towards the milder forecast, so I am going to go with that. Along with the mild conditions I think that Alberta will continue to see near-average precipitation, with a turn towards drier conditions in May.
Now as usual, we’ll have to sit back and wait to see just what Mother Nature is going to dish up for us this year… she usually has a few things up her sleeve!