It’s safe to say: spring has come.
Jack Boston, senior meteorologist with Accuweather, said outside a few snow showers on Sunday, April is expected to be warmer and drier than normal.
“I certainly don't see a pattern that suggests you're going to get any nasty cold blasts,” he said. “Spring has pretty much arrived.”
It’s expected to get a little chilly on Sunday, with a high of 9 C. Monday will drop a little lower, with a high of 6 C and a low of -3 C.
But on Wednesday, the temperature is expected to heat up to a high of 12 C, getting warmer each subsequent day. By Friday, St. Albert is expected to have a high of 17 C with a low of 5 C.
The rest of the month is expected to stay warmer than usual, Boston said.
As to why St. Albert has been experiencing milder weather this year, Boston said it’s being caused by the Rocky Mountains. As the cooler air drifts over the mountain range, it’s sinking lower and drying out.
“When air sinks, it compresses, which means it gets warmer,” he explained.
Last month was also warmer and drier than usual. But for many St. Albertans, it didn’t feel that way.
On March 2, St. Albert experienced a record-low temperature of -30 C. The average temperature for the month is usually -7 C.
After the first week, the temperature started to heat up with an average temperature of 2.3 C. There also wasn’t very much snowfall, with a total of 12 centimeters for the month.
Valerie Loseth, owner of The Wheelbarrow Gardener, said she’s starting to get more calls now the weather is warmer. But before anyone tackles spring cleanup of their lawns and gardens, they should wait until they see some bug movement on the ground.
“There are pollinators – like beetles and centipedes and lady bugs – that burrow in the leaves,” she said. “So if they're not active yet, by raking up the leaves you could be disturbing their dens.”
Likewise, bees are still burrowing in the ground. Going deep into the soil could damage their nest or kill the valuable pollinators.
Loseth said there’s been more snow coverage this winter, which has helped prevent plants from getting wind burned. In the previous year, there was little snow on the ground to protect bushes and plants from getting hit by rapid winds.
She also said this year the ground is heating up slowly, which is good for vegetation.
“When the ground is frozen and the snow melts, there's no place for the water to go. It just runs off and then it's not a benefit to anybody because it just ends up going into ditches,” Loseth explained.
For those anxious to get planting, now is a good time to put in your root-vegetables like carrots. Loseth said they prefer colder temperatures to grow.