Climate Trends and Variations Bulletin - Spring 2020

Spring 2020 bulletin (PDF, 1.2 MB)

This bulletin summarizes recent climate data and presents it in a historical context. It first examines the national average temperature for the season and then highlights interesting regional temperature information.

Over the past decade, precipitation monitoring technology has evolved and Environment and Climate Change Canada and its partners implemented a transition from manual observations to using automatic precipitation gauges. Extensive data integration is required to link the current precipitation observations to the long term historical manual observations.  The update and reporting of historical adjusted precipitation trends and variations will be on temporary hiatus pending the extensive data reconciliation, and resumed thereafter. ECCC remains committed to providing credible climate data to inform adaptation decision making, while ensuring the necessary data reconciliation occurs as monitoring technology evolves.

Temperature departures and rankings data table (CSV, 9 kB) 
Temperature trends and extremes data table (CSV, 2 kB)

National temperature

The national average temperature for the spring (March-May) of 2020 was 0.1°C below the baseline average (defined as the mean over the 1961–1990 reference period), based on preliminary data, which is the 31st coolest spring observed since nationwide recording began in 1948. The warmest spring occurred in 2010, when the national average temperature was 4.0°C above the baseline average. The coolest spring occurred in 1974, when the national average temperature was 2.0°C below the baseline average. The temperature departures map (below) shows that the northern parts of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut experienced temperatures at least 1.0°C above the baseline average. Temperatures were slightly above the baseline average along the northern parts of Quebec, Labrador and the west coast of British Columbia. Meanwhile, most of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and southern parts of Northwest Territories experienced spring temperatures at least 1.5°C below the baseline average. Spring temperatures were near the baseline average in the remainder of the country.

 

Temperature departures from the 1961 to 1990 average - Spring 2020

The temperature departures map.
Long description 

The temperature departures map shows that the northern parts of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut experienced temperatures at least 1.0°C above the baseline average. Temperatures were slightly above the baseline average along the northern parts of Quebec, Labrador and the west coast of British Columbia. Meanwhile, most of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and southern parts of Northwest Territories experienced spring temperatures at least 1.5°C below the baseline average. Spring temperatures were near the baseline average in the remainder of the country.

The time series graph (below) shows that averaged spring temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year over the 1948–2020 period. The linear trend indicates that spring temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.6°C over the past 73 years.

Spring national temperature departures and long-term trend, 1948-2020  

The time series graph shows that averaged spring temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year.
Long description 

The time series graph shows that averaged spring temperatures across the country have fluctuated from year to year over the 1948–2020 period. The linear trend indicates that spring temperatures averaged across the nation have warmed by 1.6°C over the past 73 years.

Regional temperature

When examined on a regional basis, average spring temperatures for 2020 were among the 10 coolest on record since 1948 for one of the eleven climate regions: the Northwestern Forest (10th coolest at 2.1°C below average). None of the eleven climate regions experienced an average spring temperature for 2020 that ranked among the 10 warmest since 1948. All eleven climate regions exhibit positive trends for spring temperatures over the 73 years of record. The strongest regional trend (+2.7°C) is observed in the Yukon/North B.C. Mountains region, while the weakest trend (+0.6°C) is found in the Atlantic Canada region. A table listing the Spring regional and national temperature departures and rankings from 1948 to 2020 (CSV, 9kB) and summarizes the Spring regional and national trends and extremes (CSV, 2kB) are available through the above links or by request to ec.btvc-ctvb.ec@canada.ca.

A map that shows the Canadian climate regions.
Long description

A map that shows the Canadian Climate Regions: Atlantic Canada, Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Lowlands, Northeastern Forest, Northwestern Forest, Prairies, South British Columbia Mountains, Pacific Coast, North British Columbia Mountains/Yukon, Mackenzie District, Arctic Tundra, Arctic Mountains and Fiords.

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