Part of Canada didn't wait for spring to start to see temperatures soar

Part of Canada didn't wait for spring to start to see temperatures soar

Astronomical spring doesn't begin until Monday, but parts of Canada have already seen temperatures more reflective of mid-May than the middle of March.

On Saturday, Canada’s warmest temperatures so far in 2023 were recorded on the West Coast, with several B.C. communities documenting daytime highs approaching the 20-degree mark (while other parts of the country dealt with below-freezing readings and snow).

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A seasonal temperature across the Lower Mainland at this time of the year would be about 11-12°C.

The following values were recorded on Saturday, March 18.

  • 19.0°C -- Squamish

  • 18.5°C -- Pitt Meadows

  • 18.0°C -- Abbotsford

  • 17.8°C -- Agassiz and Delta

  • 17.7°C -- Hope

  • 17.6°C -- Cultus Lake

  • 17.1°C -- Port Mellon

  • 16.6°C -- West Vancouver, White Rock and Lytton

  • 16.5°C -- Port Alberni


Previous to Saturday, the highest temperature we saw across the country this year was a 16.6°C afternoon in Vineland, Ont., on Feb. 15. Abbotsford hadn’t seen a temperature this warm since October 2022.

For those in other parts of B.C., on the Prairies and in the eastern half of the country, you won't have such luck with this kind of warmth just yet.

Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto will have to wait until early or mid-May for seasonal temperatures to climb this high into the double digits, while Halifax typically has to wait until the end of May for this kind of consistently comfortable warmth.

This kind of warmth in March isn't new for B.C. Four years ago, the province underwent an unusual heat wave that led to 74 record-breaking temperatures in two days. This was particularly odd since B.C. had an unusually warm January and a brutally cold February in 2019, and then came March.

Temperatures reached as high as a balmy 24.5°C in Tofino in 2019, but B.C. won't see values reach that high this time around. Daytime highs will drop back closer to seasonal to begin the week, as cloudy skies and occasionally unsettled conditions spread into the South Coast to kick-start spring. Temperatures will fall below seasonal later in the week.

With files from Dennis Mersereau, a digital journalist at The Weather Network, and Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

Thumbnail courtesy of Getty Images.

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