After a warmer than usual winter and with spring only days away, The Weather Network has recently released a forecast for what Canadians can expect during the new season.
Chris Scott, director of meteorology for The Weather Network, said that even though the winter was filled with days where temperatures were higher than normal, Canadians shouldn't automatically assume the warming trend will continue.
"While winter in Canada was relatively dry and warm for most of the country due to the jet stream pattern, it doesn't necessarily mean the same for the spring months," said Scott. "March tends to be a winter month in most of Canada, and the potential is still there for significant snow. Overall though, we are expecting a fairly typical warm up through the spring months."
The unusually warm winter may have been due to a variety of factors, the main one being the flow of the jet stream, which kept cold air masses locked in place over the Arctic. As a result, high snow totals that usually typify Canadian winters were primarily felt in parts of Europe and Asia, he noted.
As for temperatures in Western Canada, The Weather Network indicates that conditions will be seasonable throughout the Prairie Provinces, Yukon and Northwest Territories with warmer-than-usual temperatures in Southern Manitoba. Rain totals, meanwhile, are expected to be near normal throughout most of the region, with the exception of Southern Alberta, where exceedingly dry conditions are expected.
In the eastern half of the country, temperatures are projected to be above normal in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, while other provinces should see temperature levels that are on par with previous springs. Precipitation levels should be normal as well, while Ontario and Quebec will likely see considerably wet conditions in the southeastern and southwestern portions of the provinces, respectively.
With the potential of wet weather over the next few months, people should work to prevent water damage to their homes and avoid home insurance claims. Officials from the Insurance Bureau of Canada said recently that flood damages had grown considerably in recent years.
The IBC urges homeowners keep their drains clear and make sure the grading of the land allows water to follow away from the house. In addition, if homeowners are going away, they may wish to have someone check on their property while they are gone.
While The Weather Network's report only detailed what temperatures and precipitation levels will be like in the spring, rainfall may also bring severe storm activity. And as the Canadian Red Cross notes, storms can be in the form of lightning and tornadoes.
Because there is a level of risk that comes with these storms, Red Cross Canada offers a few recommendations for what people should do when they occur.
For example, during thunder and lightning storms, individuals are advised to stay in their house while the storm is taking place and to disconnect sensitive electrical appliances. The source also recommends staying away from windows and metal objects, as the electrical charge from a lightning strike can cause injury in addition to a potential home insurance claim.
Similar safety measures should also be taken when there's a tornado. In addition to staying away from windows and doors, Canadian Red Cross says individuals should also go to the lowest portion of their house - usually the basement - or in any enclosed area that can't collapse. If individuals are driving at the time, they're cautioned to turn off the engine, leave their cars and seek the nearest source of shelter they can find.