Calgary expecting the coldest Easter weekend since 1940

Calgary skyline March 30, 2018. Pat Walker

The forecast in Calgary this Easter long weekend has temperatures well below seasonal, with daytime highs 9 to 15 degrees below average.

The last time it was this cold in Calgary for the Easter weekend was in 1940, when daytime highs ranged between -7 C and -12 C.

A change in the weather patterns prompted Environment Canada to issue a special weather statement Thursday afternoon in advance of snow, and highs that will sit below freezing all four days.

Snow over freezing drizzle on a Calgary pine tree March 30, 2018. Graham Bond

Even though the dates for Easter vary, Calgary has historically enjoyed warmer temperatures for the Easter weekend.

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In fact, there have only been six other Easter weekends on record where the daytime highs have remained below freezing for the entire weekend: 1940, 1937, 1926, 1920, 1913 and 1899. Daily weather records have been kept by Environment Canada since 1885.

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Aside from the cold weather, snow has been a real challenge in 2018, with snowfall in the city 11 of the past 16 days.

Calgary is coming off of a very snowy February and March, where the city saw over 80 centimetres of snow over the two months. The average snowfall for February and March combined is usually 37.2 centimetres.

While March is typically the snowiest month of the year, February usually comes in as the sixth snowiest month of the year.

Daytime highs are expected to remain well below seasonal for at least a week, with highs forecast to not make it above 0 C until at least Thursday.

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