Houston had one of its coldest Februaries on record, and although the season officially ends next week, winter still has some fight left in it.
“It was one of the coldest February in the last 60 to 80 years in the entire region,” said Trevor Smith, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. “The sustained nature of the cold was significant.”
Smith said temperatures are expected to be below average for the entire month of March. The average high in Houston for the month of March is 5 C while the average low is -5 C.
Although the Houston area saw a “gradual warming” last week compared to the month of February, temperatures were still below normal, said Smith, with lows around -20 C.
The Prince George station recorded its coldest February since 1943, with an average temperature of -17.5 C, which is 12 C below the usual average for the month of February.
“That is very significant,” said Smith. “The Arctic air mass was very persistent.”
Although temperatures in December and January were slightly above normal across the region, February’s low temperatures brought the winter average down.
“This winter as a whole was just a little bit below average, but it was weighed down by what happened in February,” said Smith. “That’s what people will remember.”
Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist, said cold will linger from B.C. to Saskatchewan through early spring.
However, Anderson anticipates a “major turnaround” to above-normal temperatures for much of Western Canada for April and May.
Ski resorts across the Canadian Rockies may face an early end to the ski season due to the mid-spring warm-up, which may also result in increased risk of wildfires, according to AccuWeather.
“This may set the stage for a very warm and dry summer,” said Anderson.