03/19/2012 10:09 EDT | Updated 05/19/2012 05:12 EDT

Spring arrives in cool southwest B.C.

Spring began at 10:14 p.m. PT Monday night, but if you live in Metro Vancouver, you would probably have seen rain or snow around that time, with the temperature about 3 C.

It seems unseasonably cold and decidedly not spring-like.

Many in the region awoke Monday to a passing snowstorm, the latest batch of wacky weather in southwest B.C.

But it’s not that strange, really, according to CBC meteorologist Claire Martin.

“Not unusual at all. This is a huge country and spring is a transition month so we get these huge variations in weather and we should expect that this time of year," Martin said.

The weather is unusual in central Canada, however, stealing Vancouver’s habitual claim to being more balmy than anywhere else in the country.

Toronto was basking under sunny skies and the temperature hit 20.3 C — a new record.

Windsor, Ont., reached 22.5.

And both were eclipsed by Winnipeg, where summery conditions saw the thermometer officially hit 23.4 C — the highest temperature on record for the city in March.

It’s unlikely to last and central Canadians can almost certainly count on a winter backlash.

As for Vancouver, the temperatures aren't that far off the average.

Monday’s high was 7 C, where the average high for March 19 is 11 C.

The forecast calls for 3 C overnight and 8 C Tuesday.

If there’s a silver lining to be found, it’s on Grouse Mountain on Vancouver’s north shore, which is offering skiers a base of about one metre of snow and is closing in on a snowfall record for the season.

“The last time we had the record was 2008, we had 1,057 centimetres.” said Grouse Mountain’s Sarah Lusk. “Now were sitting at 963 centimetres with more expected, so we're very close.”

Back down at sea level, we can expect to get in the range of seasonal temperatures by the weekend, said Martin.