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Imminent danger of frost in Ontario and Quebec

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Planters beware: impending threat of frost in Ontario and Quebec

Planters beware: impending threat of frost in Ontario and Quebec

The record-warm start to 2024 brought birds chirping, buds blooming and many people reaching for their garden tools early. The question is, does it actually still exist? to So early that green thumb lovers can start spring planting?

The simple answer is: yes.

“Arctic air is expected to return next week, with an overnight risk of frost and freeze for crops and gardens across Ontario and Quebec,” says Rachel Modestino, meteorologist at The Weather Network.

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When a slow-moving system finally leaves Quebec, it opens the door for cool arctic air moving in from the northwest. Daily maximum temperatures are expected to be around 5°C below seasonal through Wednesday.

“But it's the overnight lows that avid gardeners need to pay particular attention to,” adds Modestino. “Without sunshine and daytime heating, we can drop to near 0°C or even below during the nighttime hours at this time of year.”

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Much of southern Ontario, including the Niagara Orchards, is at risk of falling below freezing on Wednesday night. Since the buds bloom about two to three weeks earlier than planned, this certainly poses a risk of crop and garden damage.

The cold is even more prevalent in Quebec, where the threat of snow flurries could even creep into the Eastern Townships on Sunday.

Baron - Snow forecast for the weekend Quebec.jpgBaron - Snow forecast for the weekend Quebec.jpg

Baron – Snow forecast for the weekend Quebec.jpg

It is an important reminder at this time of year that in Ontario and Quebec it is normal to experience frost and freeze in April. In fact, average last frost dates for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), London, Ottawa and much of southern Ontario will remain in place through the end of the month. People near Barrie, Muskoka, Sault Ste. Marie and Kenora are at risk until May.

Baron - Frost Season in Ontario - Average Date of Last Spring Frost.jpgBaron - Frost Season in Ontario - Average Date of Last Spring Frost.jpg

Baron – Frost Season in Ontario – Average Date of Last Spring Frost.jpg

In northeastern Ontario and much of Quebec, the threat of frost will last even longer, extending into June for some.

If you're planning on watching the peak of cherry blossom bloom in Toronto on Monday, don't wait! The cool air could impact flowers after Wednesday, allowing for a narrow, ideal viewing window in the city.

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Baron - Quebec first frost.jpgBaron - Quebec first frost.jpg

Baron – Quebec first frost.jpg

After cool overnight lows next week, temperatures will begin to rise across southern Ontario and Quebec, meaning the official start of gardening season may be sooner than you think.