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Toronto or Vancouver: Who's had the better spring?

The Weather Network logo The Weather Network 2017-05-02
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The month of April, in particular, is a meteorological wild card. 

Depending on the dominant weather patterns in any given year, it can bring a taste of early summer, or lingering wintery chill.

This was especially evident in 2017, as April played out very differently for two of Canada's largest cities: Toronto and Vancouver. 

Read below for a detailed analysis on just how markedly different the two cities experienced the season so far.

April 2017 temperature anomaly map, showing widespread warmth across southern Ontario (shades of orange), and persistent cold for southern B.C. (shades of blue).

© Provided by The Weather Network

Toronto: Where the warmth was

This year Toronto saw warm conditions in April, with an average daytime high temperature of 14.5ºC, based on observations from Toronto Pearson International Airport. This was well above the long-term average of 12.2ºC.

Toronto also stacked up eight days in the month of April with maximum temperatures over 20ºC, topping out at 25.7ºC on April 27. 

The warmth in Toronto was paired with frequent showers and thunderstorms, as 109 mm of rainfall was recorded in the month - with almost half of that amount coming on the 6th and 20th of the month, each of which tallied over 25 mm for the day.

Vancouver: Cooler than average

In contrast to Toronto's persistent warmth, Vancouver saw temperatures stall in the low teens through most of April. In fact the city never managed to break the 15ºC mark at any point during the month, based on observations from Vancouver International Airport. 

Vancouver saw an average daytime high temperatures of 12.5ºC in April, compared to a long-term average for the month of 13.2ºC. 

Along with those cool temperatures came cloudy skies and persistent rain, with 134 mm recorded for the month, almost 50 mm more than the long term average of 89 mm.

Comparison to 2016

This April's weather patterns were a distinct reversal of fortunes compared to the same month last year. In 2016, it was Vancouver that enjoyed unseasonal warmth in April, while Toronto couldn't manage to shake off the chill of winter.

In April 2016, Vancouver saw sixteen days above the 15ºC mark (compared to zero this year), and even topped 20ºC on a couple of occasions, reaching 24.4ºC on April 18, 2016.

Meanwhile in Toronto last year, half of the days in April didn't break the 10ºC mark, and three days didn't pass the freezing point. Toronto also saw 20 cm of snow fall during April of 2016, the most of any month that "winter".

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