OTTAWA -- After a week of bone-chilling cold temperatures and a major snowstorm, Environment Canada's top weather forecaster has a message for residents dreaming of an early spring.

"Don't write the obituary on winter just yet."

However, David Phillips tells CTV Morning Live he has good news for people tired of the freezing temperatures.

"The polar vortex has gone back home. We don't see it returning."

Last weekend, the temperature dipped to -23.4C on Friday morning and -22.8C Saturday morning, the two coldest temperatures recorded so far this winter. This week, Ottawa received 26 centimetres of snow from Sunday to Tuesday.

"Unlike November, December and January, winter really has come in February. We've seen more snow in the Ottawa area, and certainly cold temperatures," said Phillips Thursday morning.

"Before we get a temperature above freezing, we'll have 17 days in a row without melting temperatures. That's long, even for the Ottawa area in February."

Environment Canada calls for seasonal temperatures heading into the weekend, with above seasonal temperatures in the forecast on Sunday and Monday. Tuesday's forecast predicts a high of 0C with a chance of flurries.

CTV Morning Live host Rosey Edeh asked Phillips for a preview of the spring forecast.

"Don't write the obituary on winter just yet," said Phillips. "In Ottawa, if you count from now to the end of when the snow flies, 30 per cent of your annual snowfall goes after this date. So you're not finished shovelling, plowing and pushing."

Phillips says from this point on, Ottawa usually sees 17 days, on average, with snow.

"The days are getting longer and you're suffering, I guess, because of some little cold and snow in February, but spring is still a little ways away," said Phillips.

"Our models are saying from this point on, we see temperatures – the polar vortex has gone back, its gone back home; we don't see it returning. But we think it will be milder than normal, but March mild not July."

Phillips adds April is always the "cruel" month.

"Don't think it's all over yet because you've reached your big snowfall this past few days."