Ontario spring planting weather trend still unclear amid very cold weather pattern


The 2020-2021 winter weather has been somewhat surprising, given that the typical polar vortex took its time getting to Canada. But it’s here now and until it moves on, Eric Snodgrass, senior atmospheric scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions, says he’s not comfortable in giving a planting weather forecast.

Snodgrass says that modeling does suggest a decent warm up for March, but there is still air flow patterns and a dying La Niña to account for before we look to April and May.

For Ontario, most farmers don’t want a repeat of last year’s very cool May. April was clear and warm which lead to an early melt, but May wasn’t just cool; it was cloudy, too, leading to a tough start to 2020.

Looking to this spring, much of the province didn’t receive substantial snow or cold until very early January, but February is proving very cold and much snowier. The Great Lakes have added plenty of ice in the last two weeks, Snodgrass says.

Snodgrass says that the models do hint to some warm weather returning to Ontario to finish off this winter, but it’s too soon to fully understand the predictive models until this polar vortex moves on. The jet stream is at play, he says, which right now is not bringing any real warmth or precipitation to the province, and there’s a fading La Niña at play. Will it kick and scream its way out or go quietly?

Hear the full forecast via Eric Snodgrass here! 


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