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Saskatchewan News

Regina sees second-coldest March in 50 years

April expected to be warmer than normal
Reported by Courtney Markewich
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March 2013 will be remembered for its cold, miserable weather, and Environment Canada confirms that it ranked as the second-coldest March in the last 50 years.

"It was so winter-like, my gosh it was even more winter-like than February," said David Phillips, chief meteorologist with Environment Canada. 

In Regina, the average daily temperature during March measured around -12.3 C.

"The normal would be around -5 C," explained Phillips, "and I needn't remind you that last year, the temperature was close to 1 C.  So think about it, (that's) 13 degrees colder than it was the year before."

Phillips adds that the weather Regina experienced was typical for the rest of Saskatchewan.

Not only was March colder, Phillips says there was 50 per cent more snow, leading to Regina breaking a 60-year-old snowfall record.  The cold and snow also led to a 30-33 per cent increase in heating costs for most homes.

"The only good news here is the fact that March is finished."

Phillips says April should bring more spring-like weather, but admits it may take some time yet for it to arrive.  The ideal temperatures would be a high of 7 C during the day, with lows around -6 C.

"What we see this week, the first week of April, it's just not going to give us that."

April should still bring temperatures above normal, but a mass of Artic air will have to move on before that can happen.  Phillips admits there is the risk of a warm-air mass moving up from the U.S that could make the flood issue more critical. 

Just because the weather is slowly warming up, it doesn't mean we've seen the last snowfall, though Phillips ensures we shouldn't see any more significant storms.  There have only been three Aprils without snow in the last 100 years.