Canada reports mildest winter on record

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The Independent Online

Canada jumps into spring after having recorded the mildest and driest winter on record, Environment Canada reported Friday.

The agency, which has compiled data from 1948, determined the average temperature throughout the country was four degrees Celsius (seven degrees Fahrenheit) above normal, said meteorologist Andre Cantin.

Cantin said the country also saw 20 percent less precipitation than normal, also a record.

El Nino, the climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean that influences global weather, was likely responsible for the freakish weather, according to Cantin, who noted that changes in climate may also have played a role.

The unusual winter wreaked havoc at the Winter Olympics at venues near Vancouver, where a shortage of snow delayed many events.

Some Arctic areas were warmer and the north of Quebec province was six degrees Celsius (10 Fahrenheit) above the norm.