Prediction says late spring start for P.E.I.

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Islanders hoping for an early spring were dealt some bad news on Tuesday.

The Weather Network says warmer temperatures are going to be a bit late in arriving this year.

"I have good news and bad news, well, probably more bad news than good news,'' Gina Ressler, a meteorologist with the network said. "Unfortunately, it looks like spring will be a little bit delayed across Atlantic Canada.''

It's been a brutal winter, not just for the eastern region but for the country as a whole. Toronto, which isn't used to seeing lots of snow is in the process of setting records for most days since anyone last saw grass.

According to measurements taken at the Charlottetown Airport's weather station, it's the snowiest winter in about six years.

Ressler said they've noticed some oddities when it comes to the temperatures, too.

"It's been a little bit colder than normal across the Maritimes and for Charlottetown specifically. The real story is that it really has been February that's been the coldest. Usually, January is the colder month and we see a little bit of a thaw heading into February but we actually saw our January thaw.''

As of Tuesday, the snowpack measured at the Charlottetown Airport was 70 centimetres and chances are not much of that has melted yet. That compares with only 30 centimetres on the ground at this time last year.

The outlook for the rest of the month isn't promising for those anxious for an early.

"It's looking like we still have a lot of cold air to work with across the continent so it's going to take a while before we really start to feel very spring-like across the Maritimes. We'll have a few tastes of some milder weather,'' Ressler said, noting that this weekend will serve up one of those more seasonal dishes.''

The network meteorologist said the problem coming out of a harsh winter is that the snowpack has to start melting before stretches of mild temperatures will occur.

"The good news is that we're gaining about three minutes of sunlight per day . . . and the increased sun angle. The warmer temperatures will come. We'll just have to wait until April to feel those really warm temperatures.''

Ressler said Islanders will continue to feel bouts of the polar vortex more as the month wears on and there's the chance for more stormy weather as well.

While it may not feel like it outside, spring does officially arrive on Thursday, March 20.

Organizations: Charlottetown Airport, Islanders

Geographic location: Atlantic Canada, Toronto, Charlottetown

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