'Tough to take': More snow in store for Edmonton this spring

Edmonton appears to be in the grips of a never-ending winter.

The city again awoke Wednesday to a heavy dusting of snow, wind and dreary skies — an icy blast that had sun-seekers wishing they could return to bed and morning commuters groaning.

“This is a little tough to take when you’ve been seduced into thinking that winter is over and all of a sudden it’s come back,” said senior Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips. 

“I think people had felt the wintry-like weather is over and maybe we’ll have a May like we had last year.”

‘The weather you’re cursing’

While snow is hardly unheard of this time of year in Edmonton, current temperatures are sitting around 10 degrees colder than average, Phillips said.

While May 2018 was sunny and flurry-free, that was an anomaly.  

And here is a chilling projection.

Winter-weary Edmontonians may be in the cold for some time, Phillips said.

Flurries are in the forecast for the rest of the week. Nightly lows will remain below freezing.

Long-term projections suggest that May will likely be colder than average, he said.

Once the cold air is there, you can’t kick it out.– David Phillips

Phillips said a polar vortex is to blame.

“It’s very cold and those cold, northwesterly winds are coming down and filling all the nooks and crannies all the way to California,” he said in an interview Wednesday with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.

Phillips likened the weather to a misbehaving house guest who has overstayed his welcome.

“Once the cold air is there, you can’t kick it out. It just sits there … and every time a weather system comes through, it gives you a shot of the white stuff.”

Phillips advises Edmontonians take solace in the knowledge that summer will eventually arrive.

And in the meantime, the wet heavy snow is good for gardeners and the threat of spring wildfires.

“I think the weather you’re cursing right now is the weather you will be blessing later on.”

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