Before I get to the long-range update, the map below shows the March temperature anomalies (deg C.) for March 2014.
As you can see, there was a huge area of well below-normal temperatures last month. Winter just did not want to release its firm grip on Canada and the eastern U.S.
Even though we still see plenty of blue on the long-range maps below, spring is clearly showing itself as the worst of winter's cold is fading away.
After a near-record ice coverage on the Great Lakes this winter, the total ice coverage has now dipped below 70 percent and will continue to decline at an increasing rate this month as the sun gets stronger and the days get longer.
Sea surface temperature anomalies along most of the equatorial Pacific are either at or slightly above normal now which is a further signal that El Nino may indeed be in its way and could have an impact on our weather patterns by next winter.
El Nino winters across Canada tend to average out slightly warmer (see map below) than normal across southern Canada. In terms of precipitation, there is not a strong signal.
Latest long-range ECMWF forecast model update into the first week of May...
When I look at the overall upper-level pattern that is predicted by the model, it does not come across as cooler than normal for most of southern Canada. If anything, it looks warmer than normal for southern Ontario and southern Quebec later this month. However, the model is clearly factoring the likely colder than normal Great Lakes and extensive snow pack to the north and lowering the anomalies based on that.
Impressive ice cover on the Great Lakes and a look at the latest storm.
Storm gets suppressed farther south and some changes in the pattern ahead.
Update on weekend snow and a look at the long range.
My thoughts on the overall pattern into next week....
A small, but intensifying storm off the New England coast will track northeastward through the Maritimes by Wednesday.
Weather highlights into next week