Ice storms, blizzards and high winds in April: Did spring forget about Canada?
Freezing rain, blizzards and ice pellets have walloped many Canadian cities over the last few days as the winter-like weather refuses to loosen its grip on the country. The frigid temperatures are also leaving many wondering when, and if, spring will arrive.
After a winter of extremes, spring has been off to a slow and unusually cold start across Canada as cold arctic air was pushed further south than usual through the month of April.
“Two separate storms are wreaking havoc on western and eastern Canada,” Global News’ chief meteorologist Anthony Farnell said. “Thirty centimetres of snow is falling in the Rockies in B.C. and Calgary could get as much as 20 centimetres of heavy, wet snow by tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, a massive east coast storm is bringing freezing rain to Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The wild weather is moving into Atlantic Canada where flooding is a concern, especially in New Brunswick as rain along with melting snow is causing rivers and streams to swell.
WATCH: Ice storm causes havoc in Ontario over the weekend
But there is some good news on the way.
“I think after this week we will be through the worst of it and can finally ditch the shovel and change out the snow tires,” Farnell said. “As far shorts and T-shirt weather, we may have to wait a while with below seasonal temperatures potentially lingering into early May, especially for the eastern half of Canada.”
Here is what’s been happening across the country.
Over the weekend, a mix of snow, freezing rain, ice pellets and rain battered Toronto and the surrounding area, causing hundreds of vehicle collisions, flight cancellations, power outages and transportations delays.
On Sunday, the Ontario Provincial Police said there had been nearly 1,200 automobile crashes in the Toronto area since the storm first hit on Saturday.
On Monday, a number of schools in the area were closed and cus services cancelled due to road collisions. Toronto Hydro also reported around 10,000 customers were without power in the morning as power lines were downed by high winds or ice-coated trees that snapped in the onslaught.
A freezing rain warning remained in effect for Ottawa on Monday and officials are warning residents it could get worse. The treacherous road conditions caused a slippery commute Monday morning and downed power lines caused thousands of outages throughout the city.
The city could see up to 10 millimetres of freezing rain and gusts of wind up to 60 kilometres an hour.
WATCH: Dog dodges falling tree branch during Ontario ice storm
After pummelling Ontario over the weekend, the storm started to move east toward Quebec.
By Monday, icy roads were creating slippery conditions in different parts of that province, with schools in the Greater Montreal area and farther afield closed due to the accumulation of freezing rain. Environment Canada has issued a freezing rain warning for the area.
Hydro-Quebec reported early Monday that more than 33,000 of its clients were without electricity, the majority in the hard-hit Outaouais region in western Quebec and the Monteregie region southeast of Montreal.
WATCH: Ice storm disrupts Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport
Freezing rain — potentially heavy at times — will hit parts of New Brunswick and western P.E.I. on Monday, while heavy rain — and even a few thunderstorms — swing into Nova Scotia, according to Environment Canada.
Environment Canada issued freezing rain and rainfall warnings for New Brunswick on Monday. Environment Canada said combined with melting snow that’s already on the ground, there is the possibility of localized flooding.
Eastern Canada isn’t the only region feeling the effects of the winter-like weather. On Monday, Calgary, and surrounding areas were under a snowfall warning, as a spring system is forecast to hit the area.
In fact, the city is expected to get a month’s worth of snow in just 24 hours.
A low-pressure system moving into the region off the Pacific will bring snowfall to parts of Alberta, according to Environment Canada. Snow has begun in southwestern parts of the province and will move north throughout the day.
Around 10 to 20 centimetres of snow is expected to fall.
WATCH: Calgary and southern Alberta under snowfall warning
It’s also the never-ending winter in Edmonton. The city broke the all-time record for consecutive days with temperatures at or colder than 0 C.
On April 13, the temperature fell to -2 C with a wind chill of -6 C, according to Environment Canada. It marked the 167th consecutive day with the temperature falling below 0 C — meaning Edmonton hadn’t seen an overnight temperature above the freezing mark since Oct. 29.
A blizzard may have missed Winnipeg over the weekend, but Winnipeggers still felt the stress of the winter-like weather.
The Winnipeg Jets were on their way to Minneapolis on Saturday for Game 3 of their playoff series against the Minnesota Wild. But a massive snowstorm his the city and 35 centimetres of snow fell on the Twin Cities by the evening.
The Jets had to reschedule their travel plans for Sunday as the plane was unable to land in Minneapolis Saturday.
The U.S. National Weather Service says more than 33 centimetres of snow had buried the Minneapolis area as of Saturday night.
Snow, snow go away
As Farnell mentioned, the worst of the cold weather may be over this week. However, despite the potential warm forecast coming in May, people are taking to social media to voice their displeasure (and humour) about the late start to spring.
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