The warm and sunny long weekend escorted March out like a lamb.
While most of the month was cool and unsettled, a high-pressure system accounted for the dry and warm conditions during the final week of the month.
Even though the temperatures may have seemed warmer than usual, the mean monthly temperature averaged out to be only slightly milder than normal.
Saturday was the warmest day, at 20 C, the first 20-degree or warmer day in the month of March since 2004. That year, a record high of 23 C was recorded.
The Southeast Fire Centre reports that only 67 per cent of the normal 61.4 mm of total precipitation fell last month.
What a difference a year makes. March 2012 was the wettest March on record with 111 mm of rain, stated the report. Only 9.1 mm of rain fell this year, or 19 per cent of the monthly normal.
“The last two winter and spring seasons were long due to a weather phenomenon known as La Nina,” explained Ron Lakeman, forecaster for the fire centre.
“The good news is that we are now entering what is known as a neutral phase.”
“Although it is difficult to say how things will play out, we can say that it will not be as cold and wet this year.”
The lack of precipitation is a unique occurrence because the majority of it was snow, which was wet and melted rapidly, said Lakeman.
The monthly snowfall measured 32 cm, more than double the average.
Lakeman said that a system is coming in which will likely produce a fair bit of rain on Thursday night.
“Looking ahead, it’s a tough call how April and May will play out, because there is no strong indicator during this neutral phase.”
It can be argued that a weather forecast compares to a horoscope, except with numbers.
This may be the case because in December 2012, Canada’s senior climatologist David Phillips, went on record to say that “out west, not only is it going to be a white Christmas, it’s going to be a white Easter as well.”
Lakeman said although he has much respect for Phillips, some of the comments that come out concerning western Canada, are “a bit of a stretch.”
In December, Jesse Ellis from the fire centre, said he wouldn’t make such a prediction, as there are too many variables to look that far ahead to make a forecast.