Environment Canada is predicting a warmer-than-normal summer across the country based on its forecast for May, June and July.


Environment Canada is predicting a warmer-than-normal summer across the country in 2011. (Canadian Press)

That's likely welcome news for most people after a soggy, cool start to spring, the agency's senior climatologist, David Phillips, told CBC News in an interview Tuesday.

"If the summer turns out well, it helps us forget we had a tough winter and a disappointing spring... It is early, but our preliminary indications are showing a warmer-than-normal summer from coast to coast to coast," he said.

"Right now as I'm talking to you, that's what the best models suggest, but we're not always right."

Precipitation is predicted to be above seasonal for most of the country, and below seasonal for southern B.C. and the Greater Toronto Area.

Meanwhile, the operative word for May is patience, said Phillips.

"We're not going to be rushing to summer. It will be typically spring — the fickle, transitional season when you're swinging back and forth from cool to warm."

Memories of last spring — the warmest and earliest spring in 63 years of record-keeping — are still fresh in people's mind and comparisons are inevitable.

In April 2010, temperatures were two to four degrees warmer across Canada compared with this year. In weather terms, even a one-degree difference is significant, said Phillips.

"When we compare that to this year, it has tended to be wetter, cooler and cloudier than normal in most areas."

Last summer was also memorable with above-average temperatures, albeit with more precipitation than normal.

But even the rain was welcome because it seemed to fall at night and kept everything green, Phillips said.