OTTAWA -- Environment Canada's top weather forecaster says after a "delightful" first half of winter in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, the second half of winter will be a bit more "winter-like."

After a mild day on Friday with temperatures of 1 C, the forecast calls for below seasonal temperatures to arrive in Ottawa over the weekend.

"Sometimes the second half of winter can be tougher than the first half, and it certainly looks like after a couple of mild days in Ottawa we're going to see some cooler kind of temperatures," said David Phillips, Environment Canada senior climatologist on CTV Morning Live Friday morning.

"I supposed misery loves company; everybody in North America is going to feel this cold over the next two weeks. It's not going to be brutally cold in Ottawa; temperatures this weekend could be four or five degrees cooler than you'd expect for this time of year."

The Environment Canada forecast calls for temperatures in Ottawa to be colder than Iqaluit over the weekend.

Starting Sunday, temperatures will be below normal in Ottawa for at least the next week. Sunday will see periods of snow and a high of -7 C, a low of -18 C. Temperatures will hover around a daytime high of minus 10C Monday through Thursday.

"I think the second half of winter might be a little a bit more winter like than the first half, but it's not going to be record cold or record snow," said Phillips.

In January, Ottawa's mean temperature was -7.3 C, three degrees warmer than normal. Ottawa received 49 centimetres of snow in January, compared to the normal snowfall of 53.9 centimetres.

Phillips tells CTV Morning Live the first half of winter saw fewer colder days and less snow than normal.

"Certainly in the Ottawa area, I think people are saying 'this has really been a delightful kind of winter.' It has not been brutally cold, I think there has been two days below minus 20 – you normally would have 13 or 14 of those guys," said Phillips.

"It's been two-thirds of the amount of snow; in fact since November you've had almost as much rain as snow."


On Tuesday, Wiarton Willie and Shubenacadie Sam predicted an early spring, while Punxutawney Phil called for six more weeks of winter.

Phillips says his sense is in eastern Canada is "spring may be just around the corner."

"When you look at the models, it's almost as if they agree with the groundhog. In eastern Canada, we see February after certainly next week and into March and April, we think things will be a little milder than normal," said Phillips.

"Out west, that cold will entrench, as it is now, will continue for several weeks."