Reality check: April is never really that 'nice,' Canada

·5 min read
Reality check: April is never really that 'nice,' Canada

We do it every year, Canada. The calendar flips to spring and the country immediately awaits the chirping birds, budding blossoms, and early trips to the beach. When in fact, more often than not, Canada spends the entire spring actually waiting for it to be...spring.

"It's the season that most often breaks our hearts," says Tyler Hamilton, a meteorologist at The Weather Network. "We have that expectation of the spring and the beautiful picturesque weather, beautiful sunshine and temperatures into the 20s, but the reality is, it's a season that can bring everything from snow to hail and cold, cold lake breezes."

This month as a whole as been the perfect reminder of just that. From a potent Prairie blizzard that shut down parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba for days, to a wild weather Tuesday that saw everything from 20+ cm of snow to a gustnado in Alberta. A late-season storm that stunned southern Ontario and Quebec with quickly falling snow and terrible travel conditions, and an an atmospheric river that fueled significant moisture into parts of Atlantic Canada.

MUST SEE: 'Spring' storm catches Central Canada off guard with snow

While these winter-like moments can be difficult to bear in the heart of spring, it's really not all that uncommon. April typically features some sort of snowfall some where, as well as the onset of constant flip flopping temperatures.

Another reason we may seem to be disappointed with the April weather time and time again, is because of the teases into summer that we are sometimes given. As we creep towards summer, and our daytime high temperatures steadily climb, it is more common to see a day here or there that feels more "summer-like" -- giving us false hope to what our expectations should be for the month. But in reality, maybe we should be perceiving April as more similar to the month of October or even November, months not known to give us false hope, rather just typical expectations, when it comes to weather.

Reality check: Here are some stand out stats you may have been missing.

In Calgary, Alberta, April is actually the second snowiest month of the entire year, with an average of 21 cm falling, coming just behind March as the snowiest for the city. Meanwhile, in Edmonton where about 16 cm falls throughout the month, it ties with December for the fourth snowiest month of the year.

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image (90)

While about 5 cm of snow typically falls throughout April in Toronto, Ontario, the normal daytime high for the start of the month is only 8°C. This is also comparable to a maximum daytime high for mid-November. By April 30, the normal daytime high temperature does gradually rise to about 14°C in the city.

Montreal, Quebec also draws comparisons to November when it comes to snow normals, and think about it, when is the last time you considered November to be a "nice" month? On average, the city sees around 13 cm of snow throughout both the months of April and November.

image (91)
image (91)

Even heavier snow totals stack up across the East Coast, so when you're out shoveling on a mid-April day, remember...you've been here before, Atlantic Canada. The city of Halifax, Nova Scotia usually sees about 17 cm, while St. John's, Newfoundland picks up a whopping 30 cm during the month.

Our view of April and spring weather can also be heavily skewed by other surroundings such as spring clothing at stores, or picture-perfect spring advertisements and commercials we often see all around us. When in reality, this is more targeted to what April weather feels like in parts of the U.S.

For example, Toronto's normal April high temperature is 12°C, where Atlanta, Georgia's sits at a balmy 23°C!

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image (92)

So will things get better, will we finally break into some nicer spring weather as we head into May? Be sure to check back on Friday, April 22 for an exclusive first look into the weeks ahead.

Thumbnail image courtesy: @pongtravels/Twitter

With files from meteorologist Kelly Sonnenburg.

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