Peering into the future, meteorologist Dayna Vettese anticipated minor variations from average seasonal temperatures.
“Looking ahead at our spring months, which are March, April, May, we’re actually expecting temperatures to be near normal for the Prince Albert area, if not a little bit below normal, and that’s because that’s where we expect some of our colder air to be tracking throughout the spring months,” Vettese said.
“It doesn’t look to be anything drastic, but just a little bit cooler than normal.”
While March is listed in calendars as the official start of spring, it has always been a winter month for prairie provinces, with warmer temperatures only coming in April or May.
Daytime highs in March still hover around 0 degrees, and by April are generally at around nine or 10. One of the reasons for the higher temperature later on is the increased amount of daylight that arrives with the spring.
Along with slightly cooler temperatures this spring, Vettese suggested that Prince Albert may experience more precipitation than usual.
“We expect precipitation to be just either normal or slightly above normal,” she said.
“Precipitation is harder to predict when it comes to seasonal outlooks, just because it really does depend on the individual storm tracks rather than the overall trends. But we do think there will be an area pretty much right along the Alberta-Saskatchewan border and then east into Saskatchewan that’ll be a little bit above normal with respect to precipitation.”
Over the last several decades, Saskatchewan winters have become slightly warmer -- a development that can lead to more precipitation due to a larger concentration of moisture in the atmosphere.
That gradual change may have had some impact on the greater-than-average snowfall experienced in P.A. this season. But gauging the impact of long-term climate on short-term weather patterns is a notoriously difficult task.
It doesn’t look to be anything drastic, but just a little bit cooler than normal. - Dayna Vettese
“A lot more research needs to be done into what’s it been like for the last decade with regards to any sort of climate change,” Vettese said. “But just looking at different variations that we’ve had year to year, last year we didn’t have too much snow. It was generally an easy winter across the country with regards to snow. There wasn’t a lot.
“Then looking at this winter, I think a lot more people are looking forward to spring because we’ve had a lot more snow across the country -- not just in Saskatchewan, but right across the country. We’ve actually had a real Canadian winter this year, unlike last year, and at one point, I remember we did a story (about) Prince Albert that the mayor might have to declare a snow emergency because of all the snow, and in fact Prince Albert pretty much saw double the normal amount of snow in a winter this past winter.
“Luckily everything worked out for you guys. I heard there was a bit of melting.”
Prince Albert’s higher latitude compared to most Canadian cities means that its experience of springtime tends to be different from more southern locales.
“Once we’re in the heart of summer and the heart of spring, it’s pretty much the same across the board,” Vettese said.
“But it’s those transitional seasons where we really start to notice the difference across the country, where we see a little bit of a lag in springtime across the northern latitudes and once we get into the southern latitudes.”