Mark Robinson at FCC Ag Outlook 2018 conference in Chatham. February 27, 2018. (Photo by Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent).

Storm Chaser Predicts ‘Potentially Chaotic Spring’ For Chatham-Kent

One of Canada’s top meteorologists and storm hunters says Chatham-Kent is on board for a spring full of “wild temperature swings.”

Mark Robinson, who co-hosts Stormhunters and hosts Unearthed for The Weather Network, spoke about weather trends in Chatham-Kent on Tuesday at Farm Credit Canada’s Ag Outlook 2018 conference.

Robinson says the region is heading towards a potentially chaotic spring that will be a lot more active than some previous years.

“We’re going to see these wild temperature swings. We’re seeing very warm temperatures like on [Tuesday], I believe we’re up to 13 C at this point, but then it’s going to drop back down in temperature,” explains Robinson. “Sort of that ‘up and down, up and down’ is just a part of the storm systems that are going to be coming through.”

Robinson says storms create these temperature swings.

“As a low-pressure system comes through and as the front side comes through, it’s pulling all that warm moist air up from the Gulf of Mexico,” explains Robinson. “It passes by, it pulls all that cold air down from the artic on the backside… and that’s why we get those wild swings.”

Robinson says flooding is expected every spring, but it is difficult to predict how much.

“The unusual thing that happened this year is that we had a very large snowpack…so we had fairly cold temperatures and then we had one of those giant swings in temperature… so that entire snowpack melted,” he says. “At the same time, all the ice on the rivers let go, everything came downstream, and it came down in a pulse as opposed to sort of over a long period slowly melting.”

Now that the ice has melted off the rivers, Robinson says Chatham-Kent is less likely to see another flood event like last week. Though, he says the region may still see rivers rise and some flooding throughout the season.

Robinson, who frequently storm chases in Chatham-Kent, says people often forget that there are tornadoes in Southern Ontario. He says the most active thunderstorm periods and severe weather usually occur in July.