Spring was remarkably early this year. It took place on March 19, thirty minutes before midnight for those in the Central Standard Time (and March 20, thirty minutes after midnight for those in EST). It was the earliest spring since 1896.
Of course, this refers to astronomical spring, the timing of Vernal Equinox. In this part of the world the arrival of spring-like conditions is always later than astronomers claim. March was warmer than average and was the ninth month in a row with warmer than average temperatures. Thunder Bay was officially snow free in early March and further north featured minor amounts. Lake Superior was mainly ice-free all winter (ice confined to bays and harbours) and the beginning of the shipping season was the earliest on record.
Spring is often mutinous and by astronomical spring Thunder Bay had 30 cm (one foot) of snow on the ground and as much as 60 cm (two feet) in the region. On Lake Superior there has been little or no ice formation but cold temperatures in the north have caused thicker ice and/or new ice formation.
April has been remarkably cold and snowy and we continue to be in the season of “sprinter”. It looks like another coolish week and then warmer than seasonal beginning in mid-April. If temperatures of 16 to 18° C/61 to 65° F combines with sunshine, the present forecast, remaining snow will disappear rapidly and ice diminish.
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