Thursday, June 30, 2011

William and Kate bring sunny Canada Day weather to Parliament Hill

TORONTO - Royal watchers should wear lots of sunscreen if they're going to join Prince William and Kate at Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill.

The country's weather guru says Ottawa couldn't have asked for better weather for Friday's 144th birthday bash.

"All eyes will be gazed on Ottawa come Friday and they're going to see blue skies and sunny conditions," said David Phillips, Environment Canada's senior climatologist.

"Ottawa, with the royal couple coming there, may just have the most delightful weather in all of Canada, a high of 28 degrees, sunshine and no rain," he added.

The sunshine will follow the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Montreal on Saturday, where temperatures are expected to reach 29.

While there's a 60 per cent chance of showers for Quebec City on Sunday, Monday will bring clear skies in Prince Edward Island and temperatures of 21 as the couple tours Province House. Calgary is also looking good later in the week, said Phillips.

But on Parliament Hill, he suggests monarchy buffs hoping to snap a photo of the young royals should lather up the sunscreen, wear sunglasses, wide brim hats and long sleeves as the UV index will be high.

Ottawa has had fickle Canada Day weather in the past. A decade ago, revellers attending fireworks displays bundled up as the high reached only 10 degrees under rainy skies. Snow flurries were even reported.

The next year, some people succumbed to heat stroke when the mercury shot up to 32 degrees with a humidex of 43.

Most Canadians heading to the cottage or outdoor celebrations for Canada Day will see a pleasant day on July 1, as sunshine will stretch from Alberta to Quebec City, although some areas on the East and West Coasts will get showers. No severe weather is expected, said Phillips.

Residents in Atlantic Canada and the B.C. coast might want to pack their umbrellas as showers could spoil fireworks displays, picnics and parades, depending on their timing, said Phillips.

But Halifax will see a sun-cloud mix and a high of 21. There's a 30 to 60 per cent chance of showers on the B.C. coast and cooler than normal temperatures will be felt in the B.C. Interior.

Waterlogged Prairie residents who've endured their wettest spring ever will see dry, sunny weather on Friday. But they'll want to keep a jacket handy due to cooler-than- normal temperatures.

Central Canada will be a few degrees warmer than normal. Winnipeg and Toronto should reach a high of 27 with sunshine but Toronto could get some rain on Saturday. Montreal will have a mix of sun and cloud with a slight chance of showers but not enough to spoil the festivities, said Phillips.

The hot spot for Canada Day? Windsor, said Phillips, at 31 degrees. That's a far cry from nippy Whitehorse, which will see temperatures of three degrees in the morning and only reach a high of 14.

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