After days of an arctic deep freeze and unfathomable cold from the polar vortex, warmer weather is finally on the way across Canada.
That would normally be good news, but the forecasted rain and melting snow could also cause flooding in some areas.
For Ontario and Quebec, temperatures will be closer to seasonal.
Temperatures are expected to rise to about 0 C in Toronto and reach a high of –3 C in Ottawa and Montreal on Friday afternoon.
But the warmup, in time for the weekend, also comes with some rain and freezing rain, which mixed with some of Thursday night’s light snow will mean messy road conditions.
“As the warm air continues to move in, there is the risk for flurries, fog and freezing drizzle in southern Ontario [including Toronto] with the risk for freezing rain..,” said CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland.
The risk also reaches Georgian Bay and cottage country east to southern Quebec.
But two of the provinces hard hit by December’s intense ice storm don’t need to worry about a repeat performance from Mother Nature.
“We’re not talking about an ice storm here, just some freezing drizzle or freezing rain preceding rain,” Scotland said.
Atlantic Canada will also welcome closer-to-seasonal temperatures Friday.
Fredericton was at –23 C but will top out at –4 C, while Halifax will rise from –13 C to –2 C.
Warmer temperatures with the promise of heavy rain on Saturday could cause flooding, however.
“Today is fairly quiet across the Maritimes, but rainfall warnings are already out in advance of heavy rain arriving tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon (in the 20 to 40 mm range),” Scotland said. “This rain combined with a quick melt (heavy snow pack) tomorrow could result in some local flood issues.”
Newfoundland is also under a similar localized flooding threat due to Saturday’s rain and increasing temperatures.
On Friday, the eastern Prairies will be around the –5 C mark, with light snow in northern Saskatchewan, east in Manitoba.
Mild temperatures continued in Alberta as Calgary enjoys another day above the freezing mark, at 2 C, while Edmonton remained at –2 C.
In British Columbia and the Pacific Coast this weekend, there will be more mild temperatures and a lot more wet weather.
Scotland said rain is moving across Vancouver Island on Friday afternoon
“The Canadian forecast model has over 30 mm of rain falling by midnight in Vancouver with over 50 mm for parts of the south coast by Saturday morning."
Heavier amounts are possible for exposed coastal areas and through the Fraser Valley.